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NYCEDC and Health 2.0 Announce 11 Winners of $1 Million Pilot Health Tech NYC, a Competition to Pilot New Technologies in Healthcare Settings

July 2, 2014



NEW YORK, July 2 -- The New York City Economic Development Corp. issued the following news release:

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Health 2.0 today announced the 11 winners of the second annual Pilot Health Tech NYC (https://www.nycedc.com/program/pilot-health-tech-nyc), a program designed to dramatically increase innovation and collaboration within New York City's health technology sector. Pilot Health Tech NYC helps pilot and advance new health technologies by partnering early-stage companies with key New York City healthcare service organizations and stakeholders--including hospitals, physician clinics, pharmaceutical companies, nursing associations, large employers, and retailers. Each pilot project addresses defined needs of the healthcare industry in New York City and tests a technology prototype over a period of approximately four to nine months. These technologies will treat over 2,000 patients across New York City in the coming months. The inaugural class of Pilot companies has raised over $150 million in private investment since winning, helping to treat thousands of patients in the City and create jobs and grow the City's already thriving healthcare sector. Pilot Health Tech NYC is done in partnership with Health 2.0.

"The healthcare sector creates more jobs in New York City than any other--and is poised to gain further economic momentum--so it is critical that we continue to support the growth of this tremendously strong field," said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball. "In partnership with some of the City's world-renowned healthcare institutions, this year's Pilot winners will implement technologies that could benefit thousands of New Yorkers and solve real medical challenges, while helping to drive job growth and diversify the City economy."

The winning partnerships are:

Smart Vision Labs / SUNY College of Optometry

Smart Vision Labs wants to let anyone in the world test their vision and get a prescription by taking a picture of their eye with a smartphone. Smart Vision Labs and the SUNY College of Optometry in New York City will compare this new vision test using Smart Vision Lab's smartphone attachment against standard tests that require machinery costing $10,000+. The company aims to disrupt the entire optical industry and revolutionize the way people get their eyeglasses worldwide.

GeriJoy / Pace University

The GeriJoy Companion is a tablet-based pet avatar that provides the health benefits of pet therapy and talks with its owner about news, family photos and more, all the while reporting data to caregivers via web portal and phone. GeriJoy and Pace University will evaluate the efficacy of the Companion in reducing hospital readmissions/utilization for the top 3 preventable readmission risks for which hospitals are evaluated under the ACA: congestive heart failure, pneumonia, and acute myocardial infarction.

QoL Devices, Inc. / Montefiore Medical Center

QoL Devices and the Children's Hospital at Montefiore will pilot Alv.io, an advanced, mobile-connected respiratory training and monitoring device that uses interactive, animated games to incentivize engagement, personalize training, conduct performance analysis and monitor testing in children to improve asthma management. In an effort to improve asthma care and reduce costs, the device will be piloted with 100 asthmatic children who seek treatment with Montefiore in the Bronx.

Urgent Software, LLC / Mount Sinai Health System

Urgent Software will work with Mt. Sinai Health System'sCardiovascular Institute (CVI) cardiologists and their out-of-network referring physicians. As part of Mt. Sinai's community outreach to neighborhoods at high risk of cardiac disease, CVI physicians visit local physicians' offices on a daily or weekly basis to provide cardiac consultations to patients. Though CVI physicians provide excellent care, patients often choose not to follow up on referrals to cardiac specialists when the patient's insurance doesn't cover the recommended procedure or specialist. The Urgent Consult platform will allow local physicians and admin staff to search for a nearby CVI physician who accepts the patient's insurance, schedule an appointment, share medical info independent of EMRs, and register the patient, collecting demographic and insurance info. The pilot will thus test the platform's ability to help local primary care physicians effectively link their patients to life-saving specialty care.

Nonnatech / ElderServe

Nonnatech and senior care provider ElderServe will focus on the early detection and intervention of physiological changes in an effort to prevent hospitalizations. By using Nonnatech's system of smart sensor technologies, the pilot will measure seniors' medication adherence and monitor activities such as eating, fluid intake, sleeping, toileting, and socialization patterns. This is all done while allowing the patients and residents to retain their dignity and privacy. Looking at the cost across the continuum of care, it will also create cost savings by way of more efficient use of staff in the Managed Long-Term Care Program and in the Assisted Living environment.

Fit4D/ HealthFirst

Fit4D and Healthfirst, which provides free and low-cost health insurance, are partnering to keep diabetes sufferers in the Bronx healthy and out of the hospital. Fit4D's certified diabetes educators will use powerful algorithms to match Healthfirst members with the best diabetes treatments for each individual. The goal of the project is to test whether Fit4D can keep these members from suffering complications that will drive up healthcare costs.

AllazoHealth / Accountable Care Coalition of Greater New York

ACCGNY will implement a medication adherence program powered by AllazoEngine's predictive analytics, which reviews patients' claims, demographic and intervention data to anticipate the need for intervention and identify the most cost-effective method. In a joint pilot, the team will focus on ACCGNY's 6,353 attributed beneficiaries, 63% of whom are intellectually or developmentally disabled (IDD). Despite their low medication adherence rates and high costs, IDD patients have largely been overlooked by medication adherence programs and academic research, making this pilot critically important. The pilot will evaluate the accuracy of the predictions, the impact of interventions and the savings associated with adherence.

Canopy Apps / Visiting Nurse Service of New York

Canopy Apps and VNSNY will seek to improve communications with non-English speaking patients using the Canopy Medical Translator app. The app will enable VNSNY nurses and physical therapists to access a library of pre-translated medical phrases in 15 languages to communicate with patients during home visits. The pilot will seek to measure patient and provider satisfaction with patient-provider communication, as well as increased efficiency in the VNSNY workflow.

Healthify / VillageCare

The Heathify platform screens patients for their needs, connects them to the appropriate resources for treatment, and engages them through text messages. Sixty percent of a person's health is affected by social issues like food insecurity, unsafe housing, domestic abuse and other issues. VillageCare's Health Home case managers will utilize the Healthify platform to connect patients with the services they need to address these "social determinants of health." Moreover, VillageCare case managers will utilize the Healthify resource database to rate and review different community and government resources so VillageCare can direct their patients to the best possible help.

Tactonic Technologies / NYU Langone, Rusk Rehab Center

Tactonic Technologies is partnering with NYU to test whether its system of imaging sensors and powerful software can help doctors at the NYU Rusk Center for Rehabilitation measure whether a patient is ready to leave the hospital. Doctors check to see whether elderly patients can walk steadily before discharging them but often make a subjective judgment call that can lead to unnecessary slips and falls that bring the patient back to the emergency room. Tactonic will allow NYU doctors to make an objective measurement of patients' gait.

Hindsait, Inc. / NY Blood Center

The NY Blood Center will work with Hindsait to pilot the innovator's artificial intelligence and predictive analytics software to score prospective blood donors' probability of donating.. The software's AI-enabled communication platform will automatically deliver culturally-tailored, score-sensitive messaging to convert 'no shows' into donors and donors into repeat donors.

Pilot Health Tech NYC is an important piece of the City's ongoing effort to leverage recent momentum and position New York City as the nation's hub for healthcare technology. The healthcare sector is the leading employer in New York City, providing approximately 634,000 jobs, and has experienced the largest growth of any sector, having created 20,000 new jobs over the last year. In addition to the individual grants, the program's winners will receive exclusive pilot planning and implementation support services, informational workshops and promotion at major health events and conferences.

In March, over 300 face-to-face lightning meetings took place between startups and healthcare institutions at Matchmaking Days curated by NYCEDC and Health 2.0. From this, the pairs applied for funding and, ultimately, 11 winners of the Pilot Health Tech NYC competition were selected by a panel of expert judges. Each winner received up to $100,000 and was featured recently as part of Pilot Day, a gathering of approximately 200 leaders of the healthcare community. Of the 11 winners, nine are located within New York City, and the remaining two will relocate to one of the five boroughs.

"The health care and technology communities are key sectors of our City's economy and are responsible for many innovations that have improved our quality of life. EDC's Pilot Health Tech NYC competition has brought representatives from these communities together to develop technological solutions that will improve our health care and reduce its cost," said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. "I congratulate all of the winners of this year's competition."

"Partnering efficiently with large health care organizations is one of the biggest challenges facing health technology start-ups today," says Indu Subaiya, CEO of Health 2.0, the Pilot program administrator. "What sets Pilot Health Tech NYC apart is that the program lowers barriers for both parties by strategically matching solutions from the innovators to problems the hosts encounter and then funding the jointly proposed collaborations."

"Pilot Health Tech NYC helps technology startups develop critical partnerships with major healthcare organizations and secure proof-of-concept results with real patients," says Tarek Sherif, Co-founder and CEO of Medidata Solutions and a Pilot 2014 judge. "This program and the City's support for the health tech sector are some of the reasons why New York City has rapidly become, and will continue to be, a center of innovation in healthcare technology. Congratulations to this year's winners!"

New York City is home to a robust healthcare sector that includes world-class academic medical centers, top pharmaceutical companies, as well as numerous physician practices, nursing associations and clinics. Entrepreneurs, startups, and other innovators are joining these healthcare leaders to tackle complex healthcare issues, deploying new technologies in order to improve patient care while reducing healthcare costs. Pilot Health Tech NYC is part of a portfolio of programs launched by NYCEDC to support the ecosystem for venture creation in the life sciences and healthcare sectors. In 2013, NYCEDC designed, launched and seeded a series of initiatives to address a spectrum of unmet needs among entrepreneurs, including the Early Stage Life Sciences Funding Initiative, an unprecedented $100 million public-private co-investment partnership across world-class academic institutions, industry leaders, top-tier investors and the philanthropic community; Harlem Biospace, a wet-lab incubator for new life-sciences ventures; Entrepreneurship Lab NYC, a six month intensive mentorship program for graduate students and post-docs launching new ventures; and SBIR Impact NYC, a competitive application assistance program to recruit federal research and development funding for new ventures. In their first year, these initiatives have energized the community, already engaging hundreds of participants and stakeholders. These initiatives are a result of Eds & Meds NYC 2020, a strategic review of the life sciences and healthcare sectors in New York City. NYCEDC held extensive conversations with senior academic stakeholders, investors and entrepreneurs in New York City and beyond, and determined that this portfolio of initiatives would help the City play a more active role in bringing providers and entrepreneurs together to reduce costs and improve patient care throughout New York City.

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