Back in June, Silicon Valley’s health-focused startup accelerator, Rock Health, kicked off its third program. What was notable about this third batch — other than the encouraging fact that a health-only accelerator has made it to its third batch (props also to Blueprint Health in NYC, now on its second) — was the promise of its future academic pedigree. That is to say, Rock Health co-founder Halle Tecco told us that it was the first time a health incubator had sent its startups into a hospital to learn about the industry first-hand.
The third batch spent the summer building their businesses in Boston and gaining experience at the Harvard Medical School — in what I’m calling the “Rock Health Residency.” Yesterday, back from the east coast, the startups participated in Rock Health’s third “Demo Day” in Mountain View, during which the seven startups, fresh out of their Beantown residencies, showcased their businesses to a house full of investors and entrepreneurs.
For example, veteran Silicon Valley investor and Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla was in tow and shared some of his controversial views about the health industry, most notably that technology will eventually replace 80 percent of doctors. Head-turning headlines aside, Khosla is one of a growing number of investors that have turned their attention to backing and investing in healthtech startups — Khosla Ventures itself has recently backed companies like AliveCor and Cellscope.
Obviously, Khosla is far from alone in this regard. This summer, Rock Health secured a partnership with Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, which joined the accelerator’s existing investors in putting up an additional $100K in seed funding to each startup in Rock Health’s upcoming (fourth) batch. It is a big boost and validation for Rock Health, and allows it to offer the kind of big money that partnerships and venture interest have done for Y Combinator and TechStars — specifically YC’s backing by Start Fund and TechStars’ recent boost to its own investments.
The 35 Rock Health startups that have launched to date have each received $20K in funding, so this represents a big raise for Rock Health’s next class and brings the accelerator some more solid backing.
The deadline to submit applications for Rock Health’s fourth class are fast approaching, with five days remaining, and startups can apply here.
Without further ado, the Bahston Seven:
Home Team Therapy uses online video and the Microsoft Kinect sensor to help patients exercise at home and to recover from surgery. When patients return home after a checkup or after serious surgery, they struggle to keep up with the rehabilitation process without medical guidance, etc. It’s hard to stay motivated when you don’t have a therapist with you. It’s a video game for rehabilitation. Customized work-out to fit your needs, walk through the exercises, through the browser, view demos, do it from the comfort of your own home, tracking and competitive goals.
Neumitra develops data-driven technologies to address the effects of stress on health, productivity, and happiness. More specifically, the company is developing both wearable and mobile tech that uses biosensors to monitor your autonomic nervous system and the contextual and personal cues that set off stress. The company collects that data, offering analytics and a dashboard that highlight key metrics — both for individuals and large organizations.
NeuroTrack Technologies is a suite of behavioral assessment tools (software-based cognitive / visual test) that can help identify the symptoms and diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment up to four years before their onset. Nerotrack works with pharma companies and researchers to recruit candidates for clinical trials and to help measure drug efficacy, thereby speeding up the process of drug development.
NoviMedicine allows a dermatologist to diagnose and treat acne remotely and efficiently through a virtual office visit platform. The platform allows dermatologists to diagnose and treat skin conditions over the Web, allowing users to complete their virtual visit in under 15 minutes, designed to be a quick and private experience. NoviMedicine intends to be open 24-hours/day and will cost $59 per session.
Not clear whether the platform is HIPAA-secure and whether or not it plans to work with insurers, but the company is still in the early stages. Launch is planned for the next few months. Those interested can sign up now and reserve your spot for $20 off your first acne visit.
Podimetrics is a home health device that aims to free the world from diabetic wounds, a condition leading to 100K unnecessary leg amputations each year in the U.S. alone. In the time it takes one to brush their teeth — 20 seconds — you can be examined in a way that’s more effective than your traditional monthly ulcer scans, which are typically done through foot scans.
Reify Health empowers medical experts with tools to easily create, implement, assess, and deploy mobile health interventions. The company is on a mission to make evidence-based mobile health therapies by building a community of health experts to help create the best library of those mobile therapies. It’s kind of like a Quirky for mobile health.
RXApps uses SMS and web applications to help patients track their illnesses, allowing care providers to make better treatment decisions. Physicians and care providers can track patient responses to treatment, communicate with their patients and adjust treatments accordingly, which helps streamline the process for care providers. For patients, it cuts down on complications, office visits and unnecessary days off.