Are healthcare accelerators producing stronger startups?

7:26 pm by | 9 Comments

Fnding Ideas for Practice ManagementThere’s an interesting trend I’ve noticed with at least one healthcare accelerator I have been tracking. The members of the startups for the most part have increasingly more industry experience and seem more adept at finding pain points and delivering a workable solution to members of the healthcare ecosystem. And if the successes of Blueprint Health’s latest graduating class are anything to go by, healthcare companies are getting increasingly receptive to working with startups that can help them address some of the demands of the Affordable Care Act and some of its impacts with more innovative solutions.

Because there is more awareness and increasing prevalence of healthcare accelerators, the ones that have been around for a couple of years, like Rock Health, and Health Box as well as Blueprint Health, are seeing more applicants. That means they can be pickier about the startups they accept into their programs. There is also the fact that since accelerators are investing in these companies, they want to make sure they get a decent return on that investment. So they are picking companies with solutions that are more diverse and are led by entrepreneurs possessing a deepening level of experience not just in healthcare, though that’s pretty helpful, but marketing, software development and finance as well. And 6-year old accelerator DreamIt Ventures’ new healthcare accelerator — DreamIt Healthwith its newly picked inaugural class, is getting providers and payers involved early in the process wit support from Penn Medicine and Independence Blue Cross.

For example, Touch Surgery, a startup co-founded by four surgeons, developed a mobile platform to acquaint surgeons with using new medical devices for various surgical procedures. It can alert doctors as to whether they have done something wrong or right. It just signed on medical device company Covidien (NYSE: COV). It’s a great idea for several reasons. If a physician is familiar with a medical device they’d be more likely to use it. It’s also another way for medical device companies to get direct feedback from the very people they want using their devices. On a broader level, it could reduce the risk of medical errors.

A member of Blueprint’s previous class,  Medikly, raised $1.2 million to expand its service aimed at the pharmaceutical industry to help marketers find their target physician and nurse audience on social media. It is led by Dr. Venkat Gullapalli who has 11 years experience in pharmaceutical marketing and medical education.


Blueprint’s latest class also indicated a shift away from offering add-on services to a provider’s electronic health record system in favor of solutions that address a specific paint point. IntelligentM’s wristband technology can detect whether healthcare professionals have washed their hands properly to reduce hospital acquired infections, a costly challenge that amounts to billions in hospitalization expenses. It has added four customers in the past three months.

As healthcare reform provisions continue to roll out and evolve, it will be even more important for startups to be shrewd about the kinds of solutions they offer and how they fit in with provider workflows. Providers, which are historically pretty choosy about the startups they are willing to work with, hopefully will find innovative yet workable options that fit their needs.

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Stephanie Baum

By Stephanie Baum

Stephanie Baum is the East Coast Innovation Reporter for She enjoys covering healthcare startups across health IT, drug development and medical devices and innovations deployed to improve medical care. She graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania and has worked across radio, print and video. She's written for The Christian Science Monitor, Dow Jones & Co. and United Business Media.
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@Paul_Sonnier Too early to tell. Stronger than what? If relative to YC and Techstars then we need to use same metrics, right?


Its great we have ramped up the need for medical records as the #1 new necessary innovation for the medical industry. However we seemed to have forgotten HAI's (Hospital Acquired Infections) as the everywhere infectious killer.We're still being infected and death occurring. .CDC says 50% could be avoided if not for poor hand hygiene habits by healthcare providers in hospital and medical setting 1.7 million infected and 100,000 death while  it cost US hospitals 30-40 Billion every year. Green Earth has developed Sani-Bands Tracking Devices systems that sanitize and compile hand sanitizing compliance events onto healthcare providers employment records.It is an asset to legal matters, human resources, and helps reduce the HAI's footpront in our hospitals and  medical centers.. Go to; Green  Earth Clean Hands check out what we're doing about this epicdemic?.

George Margelis
George Margelis

Great to see more of these innovators are being driven by clinicians looking for real pain points in healthcare delivery.  Whilst there is some short term gain in building solutions to respond to legislative changes such as Affordable Care Act,  the real long term value lies in solving underlying fundamental problems in the healthcare delivery system which are best recognized by those who work in the system. 


Is it increasing the cowardly of internal unfair competition in IT businesses that stimulate the lack of productivity and economic development in the USA?

There is a necessity for the American companies to hire top level citizens coming from the BRIC countries because they can use again our economic models, industrial engineer models specially the ABC technique, American accounting to increase the competitiveness internally because of the cowardly way of doing businesses of the BRIC countries. They know the weaknesses and strengths of those economies and challenge the way of doing businesses in the American way. We really need the best of the best in USA instead of been kept in the BRIC countries while sending us high school students (freshers) to destroy the American economy. We cannot mix the harvesting labor with the IT labor is pretty different, we need food and these people is expertise doing it by hand, but in IT labor we need the best of the best, we cannot continue receiving low level people.

We know that there are CEOs military commanding the American companies currently but it is not working at all what they are doing, we do not have economic development and increase in productivity in this economic crisis.

Of course that it is necessary a military strategy in the American Companies because of the cowardly procedure of the BRIC countries working in the States and abroad competing with us, and using technology as drones is part of the solution.

We need to intensify the use of the reengineering of the ERP using the America accounting and industrial engineer models like the ABC technique to increase the productivity, and enforce the SOX worldwide, we cannot continue not looking money laundry, illegal and legal business mix up because of the lack of American productivity now a days.

We cannot continue having development if we continue using socialist or communist ideas in our companies while the benefits of this lack of unfair competiveness go to the BRIC countries, using their monopolies located in the States. The American Dream is almost killed by the cowardly of these socialist and communist monopolies while they are closing American markets abroad.