Blueprint Health’s new class shows there are still plenty of new ideas in the digital health pipeline

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Another day, another class of digital health startups. That’s how it feels sometimes, with so many accelerators working with dozens of new companies each year. While there are plenty of “me-too” startups entering crowded markets, accelerators are still managing to find some fresh and interesting gems.

Blueprint Health’s winter program kicks off this week with the addition of Verizon, Humana and Aetna as partners, as TechCrunch reports. It’s also brought on mentors from powerhouses like the Cleveland Clinic, Optum, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Weight Watchers.

The 11 startups in the class cover the usual digital health spectrum and include a few pretty interesting ideas. Social networking is represented by For[MD], a platform on which members of medical associations and societies can converse and exchange information securely. Then there are the doctor search websites, in the form of DocASAP, which also lets patients book appointments and rate physicians online, and MynewMD, which matches mothers-to-be with healthcare providers based on their care preferences. A website add-on for providers, called Keona Health, is an online triage system that lets users access online medical advice from nurses.

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Then there’s the tracking technology. IntelligentM has built an RFID-based bracelet to help providers monitor and encourage hand hygiene among employees. The bracelets interact with tags placed throughout the hospital and collect data and deliver real-time notifications for missed hygiene opportunities.

And of course there are the apps such as HealthyOut, which aggregates menu items from across the Web to let users search for dishes that match their dietary requirements, to Touch Surgery, a simulation app for surgeons-in-training based on cognitive task simulation (I wrote more about this company last week in a profile piece.) There’s also a B2B app for pharmacy and insurance brokers called iMedicare that helps them analyze the cost of Medicare plans for patients.

A few companies stood out as particularly interesting. On the B2B side, there’s Nurep, a company that has designed what it’s calling Medical FaceTime, or a “telepresence application,” for medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers. It would help them engage their customers using mobile technology while also deliver virtual product support to providers in and out of the operating room. As pharmaceutical and medical device sales are already going mobile, it seems logical that training and customer service would, too.

Another promising company is Luminate Health, which is creating a platform for labs and healthcare providers to give patients digital access to their lab results. It also organizes and presents the alphabet soup of lab results in a way that patients can understand and track over time in a more simplified way than existing apps designed for doctors.

Finally, there’s an iPad rental service called PadInMotion that loads the tablets with digital contents for people who are staying in a hospital, traveling, or going to an event. A good idea? Yes. Sustainable? It will be interesting to hear the business model.

Blueprint’s third class runs through April.

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Deanna Pogorelc

By Deanna Pogorelc MedCity News

Deanna Pogorelc is a Cleveland-based reporter who writes obsessively about life science startups across the country, looking to technology transfer offices, startup incubators and investment funds to see what’s next in healthcare. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University and previously covered business and education for a northeast Indiana newspaper.
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