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Press Release

NYCEDC Announces New And Expanded Initiatives to Grow City's Health Technology Sector

Feb 25 2016

Digital Health Breakthrough Network Will Accelerate Growth of Digital Health Startups by Rapidly Testing New Technology Prototypes

Digital Health Marketplace, a Matchmaking Service for Digital Health Solutions, Will Assist More Mature, Enterprise-Ready Companies

NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced the launch of the Digital Health Breakthrough Network, a new program in NYCEDC’s expanding portfolio of initiatives to establish New York City as a leading center of digital health, while improving the competitiveness and strength of the City’s healthcare sector, which employs over 500,000 New Yorkers throughout the five boroughs. Launched in partnership with HITLAB, a healthcare innovation lab specializing in digital health research and supporting health technology entrepreneurship, the Network will enable rapid and insightful evaluations of new technology prototypes by doctors, home health aides, case managers, family care providers, and consumers. By expediting the prototyping phase and minimizing associated costs, this investment will produce more than 1,000 direct jobs over 10 years, expose dozens of clinical and community health practitioners to cutting-edge technologies, and speed the time to market for solutions that promise to improve healthcare and extend its reach to underserved New Yorkers.

NYCEDC also today announced the winning companies of the Digital Health Marketplace program (formerly Pilot Health Tech NYC), which complements the Network by introducing later-stage tech companies to prospective healthcare clients. The 11 winning teams will receive a total of $500,000 to pilot their technologies in healthcare facilities across all five boroughs. This year’s Pilot Day event, which took place at the New York Genome Center, introduced 170 tech companies to health care clients, bringing the program’s totals to nearly 700 matches, which have provided treatment for tens of thousands of New Yorkers, created over 110 jobs and raise approximately $170 million in funding. Administered by industry partner Health 2.0, a premiere showcase and catalyst for the advancement of new health technologies, the program not only provides matchmaking, but also technical assistance, and competitive commercialization awards. Formerly an innovation competition, Digital Health Marketplace is now a one-stop shop for hospitals, insurers, home health services, and others looking to find new tools to improve care and lower costs.

“New technologies are key to making New York City healthier, and the Digital Health Breakthrough Network and Marketplace provide opportunities for innovators to solve real medical challenges that face New Yorkers,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “New York City is a leader in health care technology, and by facilitating the process by which these products can reach the market, we are helping to make our city a safer, more equitable place.”

“Through the Digital Health Breakthrough Network, fledgling health technology companies will now have the opportunity to gain research-driven evidence and insights on their product at an early stage, allowing them to better tailor their technology for intended users while gaining exposure to the customer environment in the healthcare system,” said Laura Pugliese, HITLAB Research Manager. “Early stage startups don’t typically have the resources to operate research studies that help them to validate the feasibility, usability or preliminary efficacy of their products. By offering such testing, we hope to set technology startups on a path to grow into companies with widespread reach and impact on the health of New Yorkers and elsewhere.”

With the Digital Health Breakthrough Network, NYCEDC is creating infrastructure for early-stage digital health startups to reach practicing care providers and patients who are interested in evaluating the startups’ tools. HITLAB will facilitate collaboration between these two groups to help them identify and test the most promising technology prototypes. With data from these tests in hand, startups will be able to reach their first clients and investors, adding well-paying jobs to the City’s economy as new tools are made available throughout the City. NYCEDC is partnering with HITLAB to provide key funding and technical support to establish this testing infrastructure, which will then be available to New York City digital health startups, bringing apps, devices, and cloud-based platforms, among other technologies, to underserved patients in need.

NYCEDC identified the need for the Breakthrough Network after undertaking a strategic review of New York City’s healthcare industry and its digital health ecosystem. Some of the City’s digital health companies have achieved great success, achieving valuations in excess of $1 billion. Other startups face novel barriers to growth—particularly those who are trying to collaborate with hospitals, insurers, and clinics to change the way that healthcare is provided. These barriers are especially challenging when companies try to reach healthcare providers who care for underserved populations. As a result, healthcare innovation is slow to reach the New Yorkers who need it most.

"Digital Health Marketplace is designed to break down barriers between buyers and sellers and enable meaningful long term partnerships in digital health,” said Indu Subaiya, CEO of Health 2.0. “This year, the program is building off of its past successes to catalyze a new class of commercial solutions that will benefit patients and providers in NYC.”

“New York City is a dynamic center for life sciences and technology with unrivaled access to talent and resources. The incredible diversity, creative energy and passion here are palpable, as is the collaborative spirit among New Yorkers and their special capacity to accomplish great things,” said Glen de Vries, president of Medidata, the leading global provider of cloud-based solutions for clinical research, transforming drug development with its cutting-edge technology platform. “With roots in New York City and nearly 1,500 employees worldwide, Medidata has benefited greatly from this environment. I am excited to join the Digital Health Breakthrough Network’s advisory board and help support the next generation of New York City startups as they make their mark on global healthcare and transform people’s lives everywhere.”

“At Blueprint Health, I have seen up close what it takes to start a successful technology business in this industry,” said Jean-Luc Neptune, MD, Executive Director of Blueprint Health, one of New York City’s leading digital health accelerators. “Companies that win are led by people with an intimate knowledge of their end-users and of the realities of healthcare. NYCEDC understands this, too, and I am pleased to be able to contribute to the Breakthrough Network and Marketplace as a partner and advisor.”

“From a technology development perspective, it is critical to test-run technologies at an early stage to make sure the end product actually speaks to user and market needs,” said Deborah Estrin, Professor of Computer Science at Cornell Tech in New York City, Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College, and member of the Breakthrough Network’s advisory board. “Small-scale study data can be highly actionable for new technologies in early stages, which is why I think that the DHBN’s small-scale rapid testing approach will be highly effective in helping new technologies grow in the right direction.”

"The Digital Health Marketplace is a tremendous platform for NYC healthcare startups to connect with established healthcare institutions,” said Yaopeng Zhao, CEO of Smart Vision Labs, a former Digital Health Marketplace winner, which manufactures the SVOne, a smartphone-based tool for instant eye exams. After participating in the program, Smart Vision Labs was able to secure $6.1 million in funding and hire new staff in NYC.

“The Digital Health Breakthrough Network meets a critical need for the City’s digital health startups,” said Josh Stein, founder and CEO of AdhereTech, a former Digital Health Marketplace winner, which produces smart pill bottles that increase patients’ adherence to their care regimens. “Over the past years, AdhereTech has had to work very hard to secure pilots and customer engagements with top healthcare institutions in New York City. Looking back, we would have achieved our success far faster if we had access to resources like the Network.”

The Digital Health Marketplace winners are:

AgeWell Global LLC / Henry Street Settlement
AgeWell is a peer-to-peer care model that is designed to improve well-being and promote health outcomes among older adults. In the pilot, AgeWell will test its model with 30 of Henry Street Settlement’s clients in order to reduce hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

Bluestream Health / Jewish Home Lifecare
Bluestream Health brings remote expertise into the context of care delivery. This pilot will implement the Bluestream Platform at Jewish Home’s 106th St. Skilled Nursing Facility, bringing remote expertise to the bedside to prevent avoidable hospital readmissions and ER visits.

InGen (Innervation + Genioglossus) / Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Sleep Medicine
InGen (Innervation + Genioglossus) and the Weill Cornell Medical College’s Center for Sleep Medicine have partnered to conduct a pilot study of targeted genioglossal strengthening on obstructive sleep apnea. The innovation is a promising alternative to existing treatments that many patients find uncomfortable and difficult to comply with.

Quality Reviews, Inc. / Mount Sinai Health System
Quality Reviews’ product, RateMyHospital®, is a HIPAA-secure, patient relationship management platform that enables healthcare provider organizations to measure, manage, and improve the patient experience in real-time via mobile devices. Quality Reviews is piloting the system with Mt. Sinai and will track patient satisfaction as the host implements service improvements at 2 facilities.

RecoverLink / Mount Sinai Hospital
Using RecoverLink’s advanced algorithms, Mount Sinai hospital will be able to virtually observe heart failure patients at their homes in order to identify negative health behaviors, provide early intervention when necessary and course-correct risky behaviors before a readmission occurs. This pilot will determine the cost-savings, efficiency and overall satisfaction with RecoverLink’s technology versus the current standard of care.

RubiconMD / Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
RubiconMD is a web-based platform that allows primary care providers to send patient cases to specialists for quick e-consults. In the pilot, all Callen-Lorde providers will have access to RubiconMD to submit unlimited consults to top specialists when they need it. RubiconMD will collect data on the impact of these interactions and work with Callen-Lorde to quantify the impact on improved clinical outcomes, avoided unnecessary costs and wait times.

SensaRx, LLC / Hebrew Home at Riverdale
SensaRx’s SafeWander Button Sensor is a secure way to alert caregivers when their patients rise from their beds thus, enabling them to provide a timely response and to monitor their patients. Their pilot with Hebrew Home at Riverdale will demonstrate the effectiveness of the SafeWander Button sensor in preventing residents’ falls and reducing response time to falls at night.

Sodium Analyte Level Test LLC (S.A.L.T) / Weill Cornell Medicine
S.A.L.T, in conjunction with the Weill Cornell Clinical & Translational Research Center, will pilot a smartphone-based device measuring daily salt intake to enable self management of hypertension for 150 patients over the next 6 months. The S.A.L.T device provides a direct physiological measurement of salt intake at home, once a day, and without physician oversight.

TweeQ LLC / VillageCare
TweeQ combines an easy-to-use patient app that personalizes and motivates home exercise, with a platform that allows therapists to track compliance and gather feedback. In light of new reforms to bundle physical therapy payments, TweeQ and VillageCare will test the ability of their technology to maximize quality outcomes for improving functional gains while minimizing Medicare costs.

Yosi, Inc. / Healthfirst
Yosi is a cloud-based mobile patient check-in and communication platform that helps patients manage their care across various providers, while improving patient experience, expanding access to preventive healthcare, and provider workflow efficienciesimproving the provider workflow. The pilot with Healthfirst seeks to use the platform to reduce ER utilization and increase engagement in the Claremont section of the Bronx.

Blue Mesa Health / Mt. Sinai
Blue Mesa Health has developed a platform to help prediabetic patients lose weight through technology and health coaching. In their pilot, Blue Mesa will distribute their platform, connected scales and activity trackers to 200 Mt. Sinai employees to reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Originally launched as Pilot Health Tech NYC, the Digital Health Marketplace connects buyers and sellers of health technology through curated matchmaking, technical assistance and competitive commercialization funding that helps buyers—hospitals and clinics—make purchasing decisions more quickly and at lower costs. Through the program, NYCEDC and partner Health 2.0 have facilitated nearly 600 introductions between companies and potential clients. Companies who have received funding from the program have created over 110 jobs and reached tens of thousands of New Yorkers through pilots funded by the program.

New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.