Blueprint Health inaugural class: Where are they now?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly two years since it picked its inaugural class of entrepreneurs to respond to trends in healthcare. Now the health IT accelerator in New York Blueprint Health is gearing up for class number five. Looking back on its first graduates, Dr. Brad Weinberg, who co-founded the program with […]

It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly two years since it picked its inaugural class of entrepreneurs to respond to trends in healthcare. Now the health IT accelerator in New York Blueprint Health is gearing up for class number five.

Looking back on its first graduates, Dr. Brad Weinberg, who co-founded the program with Mathew Farkash, noted that seven of the original nine companies are still in business. Five are generating revenue.  Looking at its alumni of 39 companies with which it’s invested, 36 of them are still in operation and 80 percent are turning a profit — a record he would challenge other healthcare accelerators to beat.

So here’s a look at where those class members started and how they have progressed

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

5 O’Clock Records:

Then: Matt Cottrell founded the company to help physician practices make money from patient record requests. This was a service provided by another company he founded in the area of litigation support called Champion Records.

Now: Carly Stockdale took over as CEO for Cottrell last month, although he has stayed on as chairman. 5 O’Clock Records has received more than 20,000 requests for medical records through its platform since launch, Stockdale said in an email. It has partnered with several electronic health record companies and integrated with two of them, including Hellohealth and athenahealth.

It estimates that 280 academic medical centers, multistate/specialty medical groups, and single practices use the platform. “We’ve discovered that our platform is an effective time-saving and revenue-generating solution for doctors and complex systems alike,” Stockdale said. While we don’t target a particular provider size, we find that our platform is especially effective for specialties with high volumes of medical records requests including family practice, neurology, orthopedics and multi-specialty clinics.”

Stockdale said it tweaked the platform over the past year based on customer feedback. “We’ve worked hard to keep it simple and do the important things well. The platform started and still functions as a self-service solution, but we’ve begun offering several premium services to our customers. We anticipate offering these premium services, including record retrieval and copy services, more globally to new customers beginning in Q2 2014.”


Then: Mike Galbo and Russ Graney’s discharge-planning coordination tool set out to help hospitals do a better job of smoothing the transition between the hospital to post acute care providers. It’s designed to help patients manage discharge planning coordination and billing with nursing agencies. The company has two revenue streams including a subscription fee for hospitals and a fee for transferring patient documents to the relevant facility.

Now: The original Aidin team remains intact and has added two additional members since Demo Day. “We raised a seed round ($900,000) directly out of Blueprint and since then built out our product, piloted with a major academic medical center and are now live with hospitals up and down the East Coast. The product remains focused on discharging hospital patients faster to the best post-acute providers available. In the process, Aidin reduces readmissions, increases staff efficiency, and improves HCAHPS scores.”

In 2014, it is planning to expand to more hospital sites around the U.S. To that effect, it’s planning to add an experienced salesperson. It also expects to grow its engineering team to address an ambitious product pipeline.

Inquisit Health:

Then: Co-founders Ashwin and Brijesh Patel set up a system for providers to connect new patients with experienced patients to share insights on what to expect for certain medical procedures, surgery and treatment.

Now: Both co-founders, Ashwin and Brijesh, are still leading the company. “We raised a seed round earlier this year ($600,000). We currently have ongoing pilots and paid contracts with multiple health systems. We initially focused on patient support and improving the patient experience through facilitating patient-to-patient phone conversations. We are now focused on utilizing these same connections to drive behavior change and improve health outcomes.” It’s collaborating with universities like University of California San Francisco, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, and University of North Carolina to translate evidence-based mentoring approaches into clinical practice. It has also relocated to Hackensack, New Jersey, near New York City.

Procured Health:

Then: Hani Elias co-founded the company after working as a consultant in McKinsey & Company’s healthcare business. It’s designed to help hospitals buy medical devices more competitively. It helps hospitals cut costs by bringing together information on medical devices such as reviews, prices and ordering. Hospitals pay for the subscription-based service.

Now: It’s raised $1.1 million and added clients that include NYU Langone, Aria Health, Beaumont and Hoag. It’s also gearing up for a Series A round.


Then: Johns Hopkins University medical students Craig Monsen and David Do developed Symptom-based Computer Assisted Triage as a way to rank the most likely medical conditions users have based on their symptoms, aggregated data from patient health records and demographics.

Now: They have added cost and quality metrics, such as how many times the provider does a particular procedure each year. Users can apply that data to determine their best option. It also provides home care instructions, an appointment scheduler, and maps out urgent care and emergency rooms that are nearby. Based at Blueprint Health’s shared workspace, it also won $100,000 in an Aligning Forces Challenge by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Health 2.0 last year.


Then: The company was co-founded by Tim Soo, a medical school student at University of Pennsylvania, and Ben Shyong who has studied electrical engineering. It was intended  to help users answer questions about health concerns by aggregating information from a group of websites and directing users to the most relevant products and information for their needs.

Now:  It has shifted its focus to help people about to undergo a medical procedure or diagnosed with a condition to tap into the collective experience of others who’ve gone through similar health challenges. They can share the lessons they’ve learned on their journey to better health.

It takes the view that collaborative conversations and shared data within health will help people manage their condition and improve their quality of life, according to the website. It has raised $750k and is getting good consumer feedback.


Then: A telehealth platform founded by Brian Dear and psychologist Jessica Rios that helps people seeking therapy get an appointment when it’s convenient with them from their home through their computer.

Now: It has since added an audio therapy program narrated by co-founder Jessica Rios to help motivate users and improve communication skills and relationships. Users can follow up with any questions they have about the segments. It also offers an iPhone app that’s a cognitive behavioral therapy tool called iCouchCBT. It gives users a way to analyze how they react in stressful situations and change their behavior. It is also adding a big data analytics tool for therapists. Patients fill out questionnaires weekly for depression, stress, anger, to help them predict when troubled patients are showing signs that they are likely to be hospitalized so they can intervene and help them before that happens.

No longer operating:

Needle: Rashaun Sourles, a pharmaceutical salesman at Johnson & Johnson, developed a way to improve the quality and efficiency of pharmaceutical companies’ interactions with consumers with real-time Q&A with customers and the drug companies’ sales teams. The idea was for pharmaceutical companies to pay a subscription fee and get access to analytics for some of their drugs.

Patient Communicator: Jeff Novich’s idea for making physician practices hum by using web-based forms to handle non-urgent calls such as refill requests, payment, and scheduling appointments came out of a project from his dad — a primary care physician. He figured that it worked so well for him that other practices could benefit.

But in a blog entry he wrote about the experience, he realized in retrospect that in four years since he produced the tool for his dad, the market had changed a great deal. It had become a crowded market for patient portals, physicians weren’t interested in his technology and he couldn’t compete effectively.

In response to an email, Novich wrote that he is currently working for recent Kaplan Test Prep acquisition,  Grockit — that’s an adaptive and social test prep website. He and his wife also recently had a son, Jack.