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Winning startups tackle medication compliance, precision medicine, care coordination

on October 10, 2013

At the recent 2013 StrataRx conference on big data in healthcare, three innovative companies were chosen winners in the annual Startup Showcase competition. They were chosen from 12 finalists who had previously been selected in a nationwide competition of big data healthcare companies.

Palo Alto-based Syapse was picked as the overall winner, based on its cloud-based platform to generate and use omics-based profiles in diagnosing and treating patients. ("Omics" refers to fields of biologic study such as genomics, proteomics or metabolomics.)

Michigan-based Allazo Health was a double winner, selected as one of three winning companies by the judges and also receiving the "Audience Choice" award. Allazo uses data and predictive analytics tactics to both predict and influence patient behavior, specifically medication compliance.

The third Startup Showcase winner was Florida-based Careticker, which has created a mobile platform that provides all the necessary planning and coordination for pre- and post-procedure hospital stays.

At the conference, Syapse Founder and President Jonathan Hirsch presented the company's cloud-based omics data platform, based on novel semantic computing principles.

The Syapse team is developing a new product that will enable clinical omics labs to easily assemble and deliver interactive test reports to physicians, enabling "precision medicine," Hirsch said. Syapse products work to make precision medicine a reality by connecting diagnostic companies, research institutions, medical centers and payers to best diagnose and treat patients.

At the conference, runner-up Allazo's CEO Clifford Jones demonstrated how the AllazoEngine uses patient data and predictive analytics to forecast medication compliance within a given population. It can also be used to determine the best individualized interventions to improve medication compliance for patients who are predicted to be non-compliant.

Allazo Health is targeting an evidence-based decision-making market that has the potential to grow to more than $10 billion by 2017.

Jones first got involved in using predictive analytics when he worked at CVS Caremark. He helped develop Pharmacy Advisor, an analytics tool to improve compliance among patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes.

Jones said patient interventions need to deliver more value and there has to be a better level of coordination to better drive behavioral change. "The most advanced solutions are not where they could be. The good thing about what we're doing is it's actionable now," he said.

When it launched in 2011, Allazo initially focused on cardiovascular conditions and diabetes among health plan members. This year it began targeting affordable care organizations.

The other Startup Showcase winner, Careticker, has developed the first mobile platform to track caregiving tasks and incentivize caregivers for the work they do, according to CEO and Founder Chiara Bell. Bell calls the app "your mobile copilot in recovery."

According to the company, Careticker's mobile platform transforms the fragmented, often rushed discharge planning process into a seamless, coordinated experience that engages patients and family caregivers at the earliest point possible - before admission. Its applications are procedure-specific, employing customized care lists, secure provider mobile communications (SMS) and real-time support to coordinate patient needs for a safe recovery at home.

Reducing unnecessary readmissions is also one of its objectives. Careticker is planning to develop a series of different apps for specific procedures, starting with "the one health event that everyone plans for: having a baby," Bell said. It's called Knocked Up. Careticker plans to generate revenue from its apps through data acquisition and e-commerce, with the potential to license its platform out to hospitals.

[Photo by - Kevin Krejci]

Tags:  Entrepreneur, Startup, HealthIT, Heaclthcare, Demo

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