2019 Challenge Winners Announced

November 1, 2019

Meet the Five Companies Chosen by Colorado Providers to Shake Things Up in Health Care

Winners Babyscripts, Manatee, Meru Health, phas3, and STREAMD celebrate with Prime Health’s President and Executive Director Rachel Dixon, Bruce Byington, Chief Impact Officer for the Colorado Health Foundation, and Mike Biselli, Chief Community Officer for BurstIQ and Prime Health Board Member

DENVER, COLORADO (November 1, 2019) – Last Wednesday, seven health-tech startups took the stage at the Bronco’s Mile High Stadium as part of the 2019 Prime Health Challenge. The finalists were there to pitch their solutions to a sold-out audience of more than 500 people. The goal? To win a pilot partnership with one of the more than 20 Colorado provider and payer organizations in the audience and a portion of $190,000 in prize pilot funding.

Thirty-seven companies from around the world applied for the 2019 Challenge. For five months, they were rigorously evaluated by more than 100 health care, business, and technology experts and leaders. Finalists were chosen based on their ability to radically improve care for underserved patients, as well as their alignment and sustainability potential in Colorado’s health care market.

“A huge thank you to the Colorado Health Foundation for their continued support of us and the community at large. Colorado is fortunate to have such a passionate and visionary partner in a philanthropic foundation,” said Rachel Dixon, president and executive director of Prime Health. For the past six years, the Colorado Health Foundation has funded the Prime Health Challenge, enabling the award of more than $900,000 to fund 24+ pilots – not including the pilots to come from this year’s Challenge.

“The Colorado Health Foundation aims to engage innovations that help safety net providers, particularly those in rural communities across Colorado, to offer culturally competent, high-quality and comprehensive primary care, behavioral and/or social services,” explained Ben Bynum, M.D., Portfolio Director of Program Related Investments at the Foundation. “Collaborative partnerships with organizations like Prime Health help us to scale our mission and impact across the State.”

Hundreds of people from all sectors of health, business, technology, and innovation – providers, payers, government, foundations, investors, entrepreneurs, academics, and so many others – donated their time, resources, knowledge, and expertise to support this year’s Challenge. “Colorado is an example of what is possible when we all work together to achieve a shared vision for a community that’s thriving, healthy, innovative, and inclusive to all,” continued Rachel, “It’s truly inspiring to see in action.”

“Statewide collaborations like the Prime Health Challenge are one of the major reasons why Colorado ranks as one of the top five health innovation ecosystems in the country.”

Behavioral health was the theme of the night. All top three prize winners – Manatee, Babyscripts, and Meru Health – address behavioral health as part of their solution.

Manatee, the grand prize winner of $75,000 and bids from eight Colorado provider organizations, has been on a rocket-fueled national journey in their first year of business, winning competitions around the country. In addition to the Challenge, Manatee was accepted into Techstars LA and Futurebound and won Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and HLTH pitch competitions. Manatee’s success speaks to the significant challenges and unmet need around pediatric behavioral health. “Less than 40% of kids with a diagnosable mental health issue receive any help. We think we can do better. Manatee magnifies the impact that therapists have today and empowers families tomorrow. How? By building digital tools that illuminate treatment, engage families, and track progress,” shared Damayanti Dipayana, Manatee’s CEO and co-founder.

This year’s second place winner also brings much-needed innovation to an urgent health care issue in Colorado. Babyscripts is a maternal health solution focused on creating a comprehensive, coordinated, and convenient patient journey for moms throughout their entire pregnancy and post-delivery. Participating moms receive a personalized kit in the mail with everything they need to manage and monitor their physical and behavioral health at home, in a way that automatically connects with their provider team.

“80% of maternal death in Colorado is preventable. Babyscripts has tools that can help.” -Judith Nowlin, Chief Growth Officer, Babyscripts

Third place winner Meru Health also received an enthusiastic response from the community, receiving bids from 11 provider organizations to pilot their solution offering evidence-based depression and anxiety treatment programs via telehealth. Even better, Meru Health partners with existing behavioral health providers in local communities to augment and improve access and capacity collaboratively, leading to a better experience for patients and providers and improving the “health” of the overall health care system.

In addition to behavioral and maternal health, the community identified improving the patient experience as a top priority, as well as improved patient communication and education after a major medical event, as evidenced by rural innovation winners STREAMD and phas3.

STREAMD is a service that sends easy-to-understand text messages to patients following orthopedic surgery such as a hip or knee replacement to clarify and simplify the recovery process. Patients who use STREAMD during recovery are shown to be happier, heal faster, spend more time on therapy, and need fewer ER visits and opiates. STREAMD was voted this year’s People’s Choice Award winner in addition to receiving a rural health innovation prize.

Research shows that patients who complete a cardiac rehab program after an event such as a heart attack live on average five years longer than patients who don’t. Patients are more likely to complete a program successfully if it’s available remotely. In Colorado, many patients living in rural areas don’t even have the option to participate in a cardiac rehab program because there isn’t one near enough to their home. phas3 is changing that with a model that makes cardiac rehab accessible in the home via text message and low-cost technology. phas3 received $20,000 to support the piloting of their remote cardiac rehabilitation solution in rural Colorado.

Overall, it was an exciting year for the Prime Health Challenge, which many are deeming the best one yet. Last year’s winners Epharmix and Care on Location impacted diabetes, mental health, social determinants of health, access to primary care in rural areas, and access to services for individuals experiencing homelessness through a street outreach telemedicine model.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next. The best part of this process is the pilots,” explained Rachel. “Last year we were able to help a lot of people, invent new models for delivering care, and even file a few patents. We’re all excited to get these tools in the hands of patients and see what happens.”

To stay up to date on Prime Health and the 2018 Challenge pilots as well as community events related to health innovation, visit the Prime Health website at www.primehealthco.com and sign up for the newsletter.

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About Prime Health

Prime Health is a nationally leading health innovation ecosystem focused on improving health care through innovation and collaboration. Prime Health is a community made up of healthcare administrators, policymakers, providers, technologists, academics, entrepreneurs, investors, and more. Prime Health serves as a community integrator, accelerating the adoption and implementation of evidence-based emerging technologies that enhance access to care, improve clinical outcomes, and reduce costs for underserved Coloradans. The organization operates innovation programs and events that bring together community stakeholders to discuss needs, identify innovative solutions, provide training and capacity building, and scale partnerships that drive meaningful outcomes. To learn more, visit www.primehealthco.com.

About the Colorado Health Foundation

The Colorado Health Foundation is bringing health in reach for all Coloradans by engaging closely with communities across the state through investing, policy and advocacy, learning, and capacity building. For more information, please visit www.coloradohealth.org.

The Prime Health Challenge is next week! 🚀 🎉

Prime Health CO | October 2019
Innovation. Collaboration. Transformation.

The final event of the 2019 Prime Health Challenge is less than one week away! 

We’re so excited to see this year’s Top 7 Finalists pitch their pilot proposals this coming Wednesday, October 23rd. Over the past five months, leaders and experts from all sectors of health innovation have come together as a community to vet and vote on the top digital health solutions best suited to making a sustainable impact in Colorado. In this final event, our top 7 will pitch live to an audience of hundreds as they compete for the chance to win a portion of $190,000 and a funded pilot partnership with a Colorado provider organization.

Join us for good food, good drinks, and great networking in the United West Club Level at Broncos Stadium on Wednesday 10/23 at 5:30 pm. Get inspired, and celebrate innovation, collaboration and our amazing Colorado community.

Tickets are almost sold out – don’t wait!
Visit http://bit.ly/PHChallenge19 to register now
 

Colorado Hospital Association: Perspectives on the Prime Health Challenge
This week in preparation for the finals of the Prime Health Challenge, we connected with leaders from the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA), the leading voice of the Colorado hospital and health system community. Representing more than 100 hospitals and health systems throughout the state, CHA serves as a trusted, credible and reliable resource on health issues, hospital data and trends for its members, media, policymakers and the general public. Through CHA, Colorado’s hospitals and health systems work together in their shared commitment to improving health and health care in Colorado.CHA is a partner in the Challenge, providing judges and mentors. Steven J. Summer, President and CEO of Colorado Hospital Association, and Darlene Tad-y, MD, Vice President of Clinical Affairs for Colorado Hospital Association, answered 6 questions we had about healthcare innovation in Colorado:

What companies do you like from the Prime Health Challenge?
Steven: “Prime Health has done such a fantastic job with this year’s finalists that it’s impossible to choose just one. I think all of the finalists are noteworthy, and we look forward to helping them connect with our member hospitals and health systems across the state. Congratulations to all the finalists!”

What innovations in health care are you excited about?
Steven: “I’m most excited about innovations that improve patient safety, access to care and health care affordability. In Colorado, with what hospitals and health systems are already working on and the companies participating in the Prime Health Challenge, there are almost too many initiatives to call-out any one in particular. It is an invigorating time to be in health care, as I truly believe we are on the edge of significant change in how we deliver care, the way we pay for that care and the health outcomes we can achieve for our patients. We are on the verge of a new frontier in health care.”

What do you want to see for the future of care in Colorado?
Darlene: “I would love to see a future of care that prioritizes wellness of our communities and recognizes the impact of social determinants on health. I am eager for a future that moves us away from a system that focuses on treating illnesses to one that prevents them, and includes new ways to deliver care that activate and engage patients.”

How should people think about partnering with larger organizations?
Steven: “Partnerships in health care are more about improving care for patients through the sharing of best practices and efficiencies and less about organization size. There are clear opportunities for hospitals and other organizations to form partnerships both inside and out of the continuum of care, including those in transportation, education, government-sponsored programs and start-ups. It may be cliché, but ensuring access to a comprehensive model of care really takes a village to achieve.”

Is there a difference between technology development in rural areas and urban ones? Does that impact your work?
Steven: “I would say there’s a difference between technology adoption in rural and urban areas. Adopting new technology is much more challenging for rural hospitals given the differences in available resources, infrastructure and patient populations. Such differences require those who promote tech adoption to be understanding of and sensitive to the varying capabilities and timelines that rural hospitals and rural communities experience.”

What inspires you to work in health care?
“Darlene: As a physician, what inspires me most is the trust that patients place in me to be alongside them during the most vulnerable moments of their lives. There is something so special about being present for my patients in some of their happiest and in some of their darkest moments, whether it’s welcoming a new baby, beating cancer or learning of a difficult diagnosis. It truly is a privilege, and that direct connection with our patients and the ability to immediately make a difference in someone else’s life is what is unique and special about health care.”

2019 Prime Health Challenge Finalists


Babyscripts
is a digital health company focused on rethinking how pregnancy care can be delivered through the use of internet of things technology to eliminate maternal death and complications. Babyscripts is based in Washington DC and currently works with more than 47 health systems in 22 states, deploying remote monitoring solutions to over 200K patients.


CareCognitics
is a digital health company applying consumer loyalty principles and data science to transform patient behavior. Their unique communication streams, rewards and patented technology delivers unprecedented patient experience and engagement that in turn drives transformational patient behavior.

Everyday therapy for kids powered by AI.
Manatee
empowers providers to break through the barriers of mental health care by sharing treatment goals to the family in real-time, driving patient engagement and tracking progress. Parents receive clear and timely communication through our mobile app, facilitating the continuum of care to support their family. Kids unlock their super powers through gamifies therapy goals and an AI powered companion to support them every step of the way.


Meru Health
is a digital clinic for greater mental health with remote clinicians (therapists & psychiatrists), biofeedback and a 12-week app-based treatment program. Meru’s program consists of continuous remote clinician support, at-home therapeutic lessons and practices (e.g. CBT & mindfulness) as well as nutritional psychiatry and sleep medicine. Meru has achieved groundbreaking clinical outcomes and published peer-reviewed evidence. Major customers include Sutter Health, Cisco and Intel.


Moving Analytics
makes Movn – a digital cardiac rehab program offered to patients after a heart attack or heart surgery. Movn is designed to tackle the $54B in preventable medical costs from lack of follow-up care after an acute coronary event. Our customers are payers and payer-providers. A few highlighted payer-provider customers include VA Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente and Highmark Health-Allegheny Health Network. We are active in 18 hospitals and project $1M in revenue for 2019.


Phas3
is a digital health company focused on improving access to cardiac rehabilitation. We provide cardiac rehab departments with the technology and services necessary for implementing home-based cardiac rehab.


STREAMD
creates text message based physician chatbots that coach patients through their entire surgical episode to keep them engaged, informed, and supported. In a randomized controlled clinical trial, STREAMD has been shown to reduce opiate use, ER visits, and calls to the office while increasing patient satisfaction, mood scores, and time spent on home therapy.

The Prime Health Challenge is powered by

Thank you to our 2019 Challenge sponsors

The Prime Health Innovation Summit Blew Our Pink Socks Off!

Whew, we can’t believe it’s been (only??!) two months since the Summit! Though this year’s Summit is in the books, we’re still thinking about all the amazing presentations and conversations we had with innovators and leaders from around the great state of Colorado and the nation. This was our best year yet, with record attendance, multiple sold-out events, top speakers, and a full agenda of expert speakers offering actionable information and real world experience. As a community, we showed why Colorado is on the map as a national leader in health innovation with this celebration of our community and all the exciting work we’re doing! 

Truly a grand time was had by all. If you’d like to catch up on what you missed or simply relive the glorious memories, you’re in luck. We are offering videos from the Summit here. (Scroll down to reach the link for video access, included with your Summit registration, or available for a small fee for non-attendees.)

 

 

Thank you to everyone who helped make this event a smash hit! 

We’re so excited about the Summit, we’re already looking forward to 2020!

Have ideas for what we can do next year to make the Summit even better? Is there something you’d like to see more or less of? Was there something special you really loved? Let us know! 

Register to attend next year here

Fill out our super short feedback form here.

So, without further ado, let’s review…..the 2019 Summit!

Rural Health Innovation Pre-Conference

Monday, May 6th we hosted our first-ever rural-focused, virtual pre-conference at Catalyst HTI’s Event Center. Michelle Mills, CEO of Colorado Rural Health Center, delivered her morning keynote on the state of rural health in Colorado. She reminded us why we were all there and how important this work can be to impact change in real lives across the state. The morning continued with discussions around rural health and broadband, success stories from the field, entrepreneurial opportunities, and best practices for rural innovation. It was exciting to see speakers and attendees joining from around the state and the nation, including a presentation from our friends in Washington D.C., rural health experts Nisha Patel and Carlos Mena, sharing what’s happening at the federal level to support our rural communities through funding and regulatory initiatives.

Catalyst Hub Crawl  

After lunch, we had a blast at another first-ever event, the Catalyst Hub Crawl. This series of intimate roundtable discussions throughout the Catalyst HTI building was hosted and moderated by Catalyst tenants, subject matter experts, and a delegation of State and Federal representatives including: the CIO/CTO for U.S. Health and Human Services, FDA’s Director for Technology and Innovation, the Senior Innovation Strategist for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, and the Executiv

e Director of the Governor’s Office of eHealth Innovation. People were so excited to come together and discuss hot topics like artificial intelligence, data interoperability, telemedicine, and social determinants of health that this event completely SOLD OUT…and then some!

Innovation Summit at Infinity Park Event Center

Tuesday, May 7th marked the kickoff of our official 2019 Prime Health Innovation Summit. Attendees participated in a jam-packed day of amazing speakers and presentations: From our morning panel with a federal healthcare delegation featuring

Ed Simcox, Health and Human Services

Lisa Bari, Center for Medicaid and Medicare Innovation

Murray Sheldon, Food & Drug Administration

Augie Diana, National Institute on Drug Abuse

Paula Braun, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Stephen Konya, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT

…..to our afternoon keynote and all-female (all AWESOME) panel with Colorado’s state leaders in healthcare: 

Dianne Primavera, Lt. Governor & Director of the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care

Elisabeth Arenales, Chief Health Care Policy Advisor, Governor Polis’ Administration

Kim Bimestefer, Executive Director, Health Care Policy and Financing

Carrie Paykoc, Executive Director, Office of eHealth Innovation

Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Executive Director, CO Dept. of Public Health and Environment

Elizabeth Baskett, Principal, Baskett LLC, & Prime Health Board Member

….to our student-focused breakout session sponsored by MSU Denver School for Professional Studies

….to so many more presentations, discussions, and panels from speakers like Marc Neely, President and CEO for UnitedHealthcare in Colorado and Wyoming, Rob Valuck, Founder of OpiSafe, and Rachel Meyer, the Director of Policy and Government Affairs at the American Society of Nephrology, and many others, who offered their perspectives on innovation and collaboration.

Throughout the Summit, we were inspired and impressed as experts from throughout every part of the healthcare ecosystem came together to share stories of success and drive innovation forward. When health systems and provider organizations, national and state government leadership, academic institutions, and digital health entrepreneurs in companies of all sizes come together to share ideas and ask questions, real change can happen.

After all the intense discussion, attendees enjoyed a Taco & Margarita party sponsored by our friends at Redox

Thanks again to our amazing partners and sponsors! 

The Prime Health Innovation Summit is presented by Prime Health and the Colorado Office of eHealth Innovation.

Nymbl’s Ed Likovich on Preventing 1 Million Falls and Winning the 2017 Prime Health Challenge

Nymbl Science, a 2017 Prime Health Challenge winner, is on mission to prevent 1 million falls. Combining medical science and mobile technology, the company measures, tracks, and improves balance for seniors, helping to boost their confidence and enhance their quality of life. Nymbl’s solutions promote simultaneous cognitive work (“dual tasking”) that prepares the brain to respond to the distractions in life when elders are more prone to falling.

Prime Health sat down with Ed Likovich, Nymbl’s COO, to learn how being named a winner of the 2017 Prime Health Challenge has benefited the company in their mission to Prevent 1 Milion Falls.

How did you get involved with Nymbl Science?

I moved to Colorado in 2016, after serving as CEO of GoodLux, a wearables company in Boston. Soon after arriving in Colorado, I started working with Jack Tankersley of Meritage Funds as their Entrepreneur in Residence. There is a strong network in Colorado; I was always talking to people about something in digital health and healthcare. Through my connections at MergeLane, I met Tom Virden, the co-founder of Nymbl. I thought what they were doing was incredibly awesome. While the product hadn’t been launched yet, they had a strong beta version of their solution. I thought, “Good, I found the right thing. Let’s get started with this.”

I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and my wife is from Colorado. We have two young kids and realized that Colorado is great place to raise a family. Of course, Colorado has a great reputation in the startup world, and Denver has become a digital health center. There is a lot going on here; a lot of smart people here.

What was your initial vision for Nymbl?

Dr. Jean-Pierre Farcy is the medical co-founder of Nymbl and a retired spine surgeon. He looked at outcomes from the surgeries that he and his team performed and discovered two things:

Two people having the same surgery would have different outcomes that weren’t easily explained. After some research, Dr. Farcy found that balance accounted for 80% of their outcomes. As a result, Dr. Farcy wouldn’t operate on people who didn’t have good balance. Balance is about the brain and the body working together. For example, many people, such as the elderly, can’t do memory recall as they are walking.

People tend to fall when they become distracted and haven’t maintained the cognitive bandwidth required to stay balance. The brain and the body need to be working equally well together. Based on this knowledge, we created an overarching vision statement – Preventing 1 Million Falls.

  • 1 in 4 Americans aged 65 years and older report falling every year. Retrospective data shows 1 in 3 older Americans actually fall.
  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans.
  • Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall.
  • Falls are the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.
  • Every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from the after-effects of a fall.

What factors led to Nymbl participating in the 2017 Prime Health Challenge?

First of all, we were attracted to the brand recognition Prime Health has earned. Everyone knows that Prime Health is the go-to resource for digital health. The organization also has a strong reputation for helping startups succeed.

Secondly, we understood the impact we could achieve by presenting our solutions through partnerships with Prime Health. We knew we could have a real discussion with decision makers who say could say, “This is great and something we want to focus on,” or “This isn’t something we’re interested in.”

“We understood the impact we could achieve by presenting our solutions through partnerships with Prime Health. We knew we could have a real discussion with decision makers who say could say, “This is great and something we want to focus on,” or “This isn’t something we’re interested in.”

How was your experience with the Prime Health Challenge. What made it valuable for you and Nymbl?

The quality of the partners we’ve met has been valuable and surprising. I’ve been in the startup world long enough to have participated in programs that promise a lot but don’t always deliver. You can often finish a program and just have three lawyers who want your business. With Prime Health, people actually show up and work with you. It’s a peer group. It can be lonely in the startup world. You’re constantly fighting to get your vision out in the world and get people to listen to you. Partnering with Prime Health lowers the stress because you know there will be valuable outcomes from it.

The people and organizations that comprise the Prime Health ecosystem have a genuine desire to support you beyond your participation in the program. Mike Biselli has been a true leader and pioneer here with what he’s done at Catalyst HTI.

“The people and organizations that comprise the Prime Health ecosystem have a genuine desire to support you beyond your participation in the program.”

– Ed Likovich – COO, Nymbl

What, if anything, surprised you about your experience with the Prime Health Challenge? 

I was surprised by how much we as a company changed going through the program. As a startup you know you’re never 100% of what you want to be. Prior to participating in the Prime Health Challenge, we thought we were at roughly 20-30%. Their approach taught us what we need to be successful; what we need to have in place before having critical conversations, and what types of partners can coach us and help enable our success. Prime Health really helped us understand all of that.

Whom did you ultimately select as a provider from the Prime Health Challenge?

After our pitch, four people raised their hands. All of them are engaged with us including Centura Health, SCL Health, Kaiser Permanente, and UC Health. Every major healthcare system knows what a huge problem falls are. We’re excited to have a lot of people interested in us moving forward.

How did these partners help Nymbl grow and evolve its business model?

We were certainly exposed to a diversity of healthcare models. We also learned about different ROI models and how we needed to prove outcomes and tie dollar amounts to them.

The second you get to test software in a clinical setting, you begin to see all of the flaws in it. The greatest benefit for us is understanding workflow. Our solution has to immediately prove value and be easy to implement.

What advice would you give companies who are interested in participating in a future Prime Health Challenge?

I’m a big believer in the power of relationships. Companies are looking at who is connected to Prime Health – they want to build those relationships.

The first thing that comes to mind is Catalyst HTI. It’s such as benefit to being in a building with people who are adjacent to you solving similar or complementary problems. Congratulations to Mike for getting this off the ground. It’s a great place to be to meet people. The more people you meet and talk to, the more successful everyone gets.

What’s been done here is extraordinary. The impact and reach Prime Health and Catalyst HTI  has is great to see.

About Nymbl Science

Nymbl Science is a mission-driven company committed to Preventing 1 Million Falls. By combining smartphone technology with evidence-based methodologies that include current science combining brain and exercise research, Nymbl differs from other fall prevention interventions in the following ways:

•     Balance and improvement are measured and quantified

•     Training is daily and requires less than 10 minutes per day

•     Training occurs at home and when it is most convenient

•     Simultaneous cognitive work (“dual tasking”) prepares the brain to respond to the distractions in life when elders are more prone to falling

Visit www.nymblscience.com for more information.

Meet the 6 digital health startups competing for a chance to transform care in Colorado

The 2018 Prime Health Challenge will take place on October 11, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. Get your tickets now!

They were drawn from a pool of applicants that included startups from around the nation. They were rigorously vetted by more than 40 healthcare and business leaders. They endured months of networking, mentoring, and training. Now, six digital health startups have been given the greenlight to pitch at the largest competition of its kind, the Prime Health Challenge.

“This year’s finalists represent the unique needs of Colorado’s underserved population,” said Nicole McNew, executive director of Prime Health. “They also highlight the vast opportunities that exist for entrepreneurs to develop, pilot, and innovate health technology solutions.”

At the 2018 Prime Health Challenge, this year’s finalists will have the opportunity to pitch before an audience of hundreds. Each innovator will attempt to convince a panel of payers and providers to pilot their solution. At the end of the competition, the Colorado Health Foundation will award three of the startups a share of $150,000 to fund their pilots.

“What makes the Challenge so unique is its ability to impact the lives of patients across the state,” McNew said. “Participating organizations like Stout Street Clinic, Denver Health, AllHealth Network, and Mt. San Rafael Hospital are serving Colorado’s most vulnerable patients.”

“The pilots resulting from the Challenge will connect these populations with resources such as financial education, behavioral health services, and symptom management.”

For patients, providers, and payers, a lot is on the line. The winners of the Prime Health Challenge may determine their benefits, workflows, and profits in the coming years. Some may enter the healthcare industry as partners; others, as competitors. Either way, these startups represent the vanguard of the technological revolution that is currently sweeping through clinics and hospitals.

Here are the six digital health startups competing for a chance to transform care in Colorado.

Care on Location

Care on Location is a telehealth service provider that utilizes its convenient software platform to connect patients to quality telemedicine care. Through its geolocation-based matching system, the company is able to connect patients that need more than a telehealth visit directly to a partnership network of office-based and mobile healthcare providers.

The company makes it easy for its partners to succeed in offering telehealth by providing a customized set of comprehensive services.  These services include organizational needs assessment, program design, hardware, software, and clinical services.

“Care on Location is solely focused on serving safety net providers and their patients,” said Dr. Jonathon Savage, the company’s CEO. “This means our partners receive a better service as we’re tuned in to the unique needs, challenges, and considerations of safety net institutions.”

“Our mission is to improve access to high quality medical and behavioral care in the safety net space in a manner that keeps the patient’s core team of providers front and center.”

TCARE

TCARE’s Medicaid-approved platform is used by health insurance companies to reduce family caregiver burnout and delay nursing home placement. The company’s evidence-based predictive technology saved Washington State Department of Social and Health Services over $10 million in a 2,300-caregiver pilot by delaying nursing home readmissions by 18-24 months.

In a two year pilot, TCARE was proven to save Washington State’s Medicaid system over $20M while increasing the quality of care of the at-risk aging population,” said Ali Ahmadi, the company’s CEO.

“Our partnership with Colorado’s host institutions will allow TCARE to similarly impact the quality of care for Colorado’s at-risk aging population.” 

Tela

Tela (formally Tx Tracker) empowers cancer patients to track their symptoms, medication usage, and other health data to better manage their treatment experience. The company’s platform shares this data with providers to improve patient outcomes and with pharmaceutical and biotech researchers to accelerate precision medicine research.

“Tela will partner with host institutions to close the information gap on what’s happening between clinical visits,” said Tela CEO Christie Mangir. “Our platform will help care teams manage high-risk patients, and help administrators minimize costs and maximize value.”

“Measuring both the financial impact and the impact on patient outcomes, a pilot with Tela will demonstrate the value created by incorporating ePROs and remote patient monitoring into oncology care.”

Epharmix

Epharmix is an evidence-based remote patient monitoring company passionate about improving outcomes in high and rising-risk populations. The company increases engagement by sending proactive, clinically-validated texts and phone messages to the patient’s own phone to collect patient-reported biometrics and symptoms for 23 chronic diseases.

Epharmix’s algorithms risk-stratify patient responses and trigger alerts to care management teams, enabling timely, targeted care to prevent readmissions or exacerbations. The company helps care managers more efficiently engage patients to be successful in value-based care.

“Epharmix is excited for the chance to partner with Colorado-based safety net providers to support patients and their care teams,” said Epharmix CEO Blake Marggraff. “Our remote patient engagement technology is especially powerful for organizations focused on a combination of behavioral, chronic, and social determinants of health.”

“We are looking forward to helping Prime Health’s host institutions provide even more scalable, financially sustainable, and high quality care for the patients who need it most.”

Medecipher

Medecipher helps hospitals navigate operational decision making. Founded by the former managers of an academic emergency department and industrial engineers, the company understands patient flow, throughput, and the operational reality of emergency departments.

Medecipher’s flagship product is an early detection software and services platform for emergency department leaders. According to the company, the product promptly delivers a return-on-investment by reducing flex staffing costs and recapturing walk-out volume.

“At Medecipher, we recognize that determining appropriate nurse staffing is a major challenge for all hospitals,” said Stephanie Gravenor, CEO of Medecipher. “However, this is issue is especially challenging for critical access and safety net hospitals, who must continuously adapt their nursing care and skills to an environment with wide fluctuations in census, acuity, and care needs.”

“Medecipher introduces a proactive staffing approach that promotes high quality patient care while being mindful of the financial constraints facing the organization.”

Golden

Golden is financial health and benefits care for our fastest growing and most vulnerable population, our seniors. Golden enables providers to give senior-population patients and their families Golden’s How to Pay for Mom’s Care Program.

This proactive program checks seniors for means-tested government benefits qualification and drug discounts. It also allows family members to pay bills and manage money when their senior parents can’t due to hospitalization, dementia, or chronic care conditions.

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About Prime Health

Prime Health is a business ecosystem of healthcare administrators, providers, technologists, academics, entrepreneurs and investors dedicated to improving healthcare delivery through health tech innovation. Prime serves as a community integrator, accelerating the adoption and implementation of evidence-based emerging technologies that enhance access to care, improve clinical outcomes and reduce costs.  The organization operates Innovation programs and events that bring together community stakeholders to discuss industry needs, identify innovative solutions, and scale partnerships that drive meaningful outcomes.  To learn more, visit: www.primehealthco.com.

About the Colorado Health Foundation

The Colorado Health Foundation is bringing health in reach for all Coloradans by engaging closely with communities across the state through investing, policy and advocacy, learning and capacity building. For more information, please visit www.coloradohealth.org.

This article was optimized using emphasis.ai.

Aetna’s Firdaus Bhathena Discusses The Rise of Consumerism in Digital Health

On August 7th, Colorado’s payers, providers and innovators gathered for Prime Health’s Employer Health Innovation Summit. In partnership with Bach Health, Prime Health welcomed Firdaus Bhathena, Chief Digital Officer at Aetna, as the keynote speaker. Firdaus shared his insights on how companies such as Aetna are evolving to meet the changing needs of healthcare consumers. Following are some highlights from the event.

 

Firdaus opened his presentation by asking the audience to describe what consumer want in healthcare. “Easy, interactive and transparent” were at the top of the list.

 

“When you look at a person’s overall wellness, 10% of it is determined by clinical health, 30% of it is determined by genetic factors, and the remaining 60% is based on social determinants,” said Firdaus. “Right now, we’re only addressing clinical health.”

Firdaus also noted, “My primary care physician doesn’t influence my health. I only see him once or twice a year.”

 

“Your zip code and socioeconomic status is more important than your genetic code,” Firdaus emphasized. Research shows that overall health is not just a result of not being sick. It is based on a complex combination of environmental and social determinants, such as your physical and emotional health, your financial health, and your social connections. These determinants influence our health trajectories.

 

“Being a healthcare financier is a thing of the past. We want to be your health and wellness partner. Can we deliver value to you, without ever charging you? That’s a way to build trust.” Firdaus referring to the “freemium” model that tech companies such as Dropbox use to engage consumers and gradually earn their trust.

 

“Can we get to a place where consumers trust us with their data?” Firdaus asked. “We have to solve this problem. At Aeta we use artificial intelligence and machine learning to derive insights for Next Best Actions (NBAs) that target a member’s specific health profile. We then explain to consumers why they should take a specific action during their wellness journey.”

Firdaus described a research study commissioned by Aetna that shows that people who haven’t visited a primary care provider (PCP) in the past two years are five to eight times more likely to have an avoidable ER-related visit.

“We can show consumers how to use our digital tools to make an appointment, go see their PCP, and avoid the ER. It’s a win-win for everyone,” said Firdaus. “We did a pilot with a few thousand users where we actually demonstrated value to the user based on strong data science. It led to a 100% increase in visits to PCPs. Now we’re looking at the data to see how it decreased avoidable ER visits.”

 

“The purpose part is really important in healthcare. Tech people are in general very interested in, “How can I make this better?”” Firdaus describing why Aetna has brought on technical expertise to help solve healthcare problems. “We are the first to admit, we don’t know the future of healthcare. We can test and interate and hopefully have the courage to shut things down that don’t work.”

 

Read Prime Health’s interview with Firdaus for more insights into how healthcare companies are evolving to meet the needs of today’s heathcare consumers.

The Rise of Consumerism in Digital Health

Prime Health recently spoke with Firdaus Bhathena, Aetna’s Chief Digital Officer, about the rise in consumerism in digital health, and how Aetna is leveraging technology and apps to deliver a hyper-relevant experience to its members.

Aetna is moving from being a healthcare financier to becoming a health and wellness partner for consumers at large. What are the some of the key initiatives that Aetna is implementing to make that shift?

As a healthcare financier, we help our members pay for healthcare and navigate the healthcare system. However, that’s not enough anymore. When you look at a person’s overall wellness, 10% of it is determined by clinical health, 30% of it is determined by genetic factors, and the remaining 60% is based on social determinants. Right now, we’re only addressing clinical health.

“When you look at a person’s overall wellness, 10% of it is determined by clinical health, 30% of it is determined by genetic factors, and the remaining 60% is based on social determinants.”

Your zip code and socioeconomic status is more important than your genetic code.  Overall health is not just a result of not being sick. It is based on a complex combination of environmental and social determinants, including:

·     How is your physical and emotional health?

·     How is your financial health?

·     What are your social connections?

·     Do you have a sense of purpose?

These determinants influence our health trajectories. So, how do we understand them? How do we then enable people to lead happier, healthier, more productive lives? It’s a combination of better understanding of the data, gaining feedback directly from the consumers, and academic insights. For example, Aetna has a research partnership with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to study the determinants of well-being including: physical health, emotional health, social connectedness, financial security, purpose and character strengths. The results of the study will inform future initiatives and allow us to create programs to help improve the well-being of our members.

How does Aetna Digital plan to leverage its deep data assets and technology expertise to deliver an outstanding consumer experience?

We have a mantra here at Aetna, “we need to separate the signal from the noise.” There is a tremendous amount of data and research out there. We need to boil it down and simplify it, so we can help consumers go down the right path. We must provide our members with the information they need to make the best possible decisions for their particular healthcare situation.

“We must provide our members with the information they need to make the best possible decisions for their particular healthcare situation.”

It’s hard to make sense of the huge amounts of data. At Aeta we use artificial intelligence and machine learning to derive insights for Next Best Actions (NBAs) that target a member’s specific health profile. We then explain to consumers why they should take a specific action during their wellness journey.

For example, research shows that people who haven’t visited a primary care provider (PCP) in the past two years are five to eight times more likely to have an avoidable ER-related visit. We can show consumers how to use our digital tools to make an appointment, go see their PCP, and avoid the ER. It’s a win-win for everyone. We did a pilot with a few thousand users where we actually demonstrated value to the user based on strong data science. It led to a 100% increase in visits to PCPs. Now we’re looking at the data to see how it decreased avoidable ER visits. Other NBAs include:

·      Enabling members to better follow their diabetes management plan

·      Enabling members to better adhere to their medication regimen

·      Increasing utilization of tele-health solutions when appropriate

·      Ensuring that members are getting the screenings they need for conditions such as breast cancer and colorectal cancer

·      Enabling members to better follow their discharge instructions after an acute care episode

How will the proposed acquisition of Aetna by CVS benefit healthcare consumers?

The most important point to be made is that this is a vertical integration as opposed to two companies who do much of the same thing coming together to increase market share. Combining Aetna’s managed care benefits and services with CVS Health’s unmatched local presence, and clinical and pharmacy expertise creates a consumer-oriented, vertically integrated care delivery model that has tremendous benefits for the consumer from a cost, convenience, and access to healthcare standpoint. The goal is to provide high-quality healthcare wherever and whenever the consumer needs it in as cost-effective and accessible a manner as possible. Digital tools will surround the consumer with an always-on health and wellness partner, while connecting the consumer to the appropriate local care provider in a timely and efficient manner.

We want to be the best in the business at understanding consumers’ healthcare needs and health ambitions, and providing personalized solutions tailored to each person’s individual situation.

Aetna Digital recently “sunsetted” its iTriage app in favor of the Aetna Health app. What, if any lessons or best practices from iTriage are you applying to Aetna Digital?

iTriage and other solutions had very powerful concepts built into them. Over time, there’s been an increase of point solutions, and the user experience was becoming disjointed.  We’re not thinking about our app from a feature standpoint anymore. Now we’re thinking about it as a user experience.

We’re asking, “What is this person trying to achieve? What are their health ambitions?” iTriage was doing this within a very narrow domain. We looked at our inventory of digital solutions from the member point-of-view and used Aetna Health to integrate various point-solutions for a better user experience.

We’re asking, “What is this person trying to achieve? What are their health ambitions?”

Considering the next generation of healthcare consumers, what are the key goals you would like to see addressed with technology over the next three to five years?

We need to push interoperability across different systems. Data is tied up in different silos. Healthcare is sensitive to the issues of privacy and security which is limiting the value of the data in these silos. We need private, secure access to data. The future of digital health needs to bring this together. How can we leverage AI and machine learning to access this data in order to fix the healthcare problems that this country faces?

Aetna is using advanced analytics and machine learning to act upon the data we have right now, but it’s still pretty cumbersome. Lag time is a problem in healthcare data. Right now, we don’t receive indication of a health issue until a claim is filed. Connected devices will allow for real-time data direct from consumers, allowing us to find these insights directly from the source.

We’re at a major inflection point right now. Healthcare is a national issue that affects all of us in a personal way. Every patient has a story about a healthcare experience where there was room for improvement. Improving this experience means changing the way we do business and leveraging technology to drastically improve the way patients interact with the healthcare system.

Every patient has a story about a healthcare experience where there was room for improvement. Improving this experience means changing the way we do business and leveraging technology to drastically improve the way patients interact with the healthcare system.

 

Learn more about Prime Health here.

June 28 Meetup: Pilot Study Best Practices for Innovating with Health System Partners

Denver Health’s Susan Moore, Ph.D., joined us at our June 28th Meetup to discuss best practices in pilot study design and implementation and to provide tips on how to partner successfully with health systems to ensure that your pilot serves as a launchpad for continued success. Key topics included the following:

* Health care as a complex adaptive system
* Health care delivery system types, characteristics, and stakeholders
* Framing your value proposition from a pilot study perspective
* Pilot study design considerations
* Partnership and implementation processes
* Maintaining relationships post-pilot

Susan L. Moore, PhD, MSPH, is the Associate Director of Research Operations at Denver Health, a research scientist in the Center for Health Systems Research at Denver Health, an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the University of Colorado School of Medicine, an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics andInformatics at the Colorado School of Public Health, and the mHealth research methods core program lead at the Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science (ACCORDS) at the University of Colorado.

Dr. Moore’s ongoing research interests include consumer health informatics, clinical decision support, and the use of mobile health technology to deliver patient-centered care. She uses mixed methods where appropriate in both health systems research and program evaluation, and incorporates implementation science strategies for studies that take place in the health care setting.

You can view Dr. Moore’s presentation here.