Blueprint Health's Demo Day: Big Data, Pill Poppin', and the "R" Word

By Nathaniel Mott , written on October 4, 2012

From The News Desk

We're here at Blueprint Health's demo day, where nine healthcare-related startups have strutted their stuff to a room chock full of venture capitalists and reporters.

The accelerator hosted today's demos at its 12,000 square foot loft in Manhattan, where some 500 people have shown up to see "the future of healthcare." The nine companies that presented all passed through this loft and worked for the past three months on refining their products (and their pitches).

Blueprint Health cofounder Matthew Farkash gave the usual pep talk before the companies took the stage, espousing the virtues of the New York tech scene and the healthcare scene in general. Farkash says that Blueprint has the highest number of healthcare-related mentors of any accelerator, and with 155 mentors listed on the accelerator's website, I'm inclined to believe him.

Medikly: The first company to present, Medikly is "a cloud-based engagement platform for big pharma and their digital marketing efforts." The service makes it easier for pharmaceutical companies to manage their content, reach doctors, and measure the effectiveness of their efforts.

According to the company, pharmaceutical companies are set to spend $30 billion on marketing their products this year. Medikly says that five of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world are its clients, and has generated $1.3 million in revenue to date, with only $3,600 spent on marketing. The company is raising a $500,000 round, of which $275,000 has already been committed.

DaisyBill: DaisyBill is a "billing solution that gets workers' compensation bills paid quickly." The company says that other billing systems' focus on insurance makes it difficult for hospitals to manage worker's comp claims, and that 75 percent of Texas-based doctors will refuse care for worker's comp patients to avoid the hassle of the current systems.

DaisyBill takes a $5 cut from each bill-pay, and will be rolling out in California on October 18. The company says that California has committed to use the service for 20,000 bills, and claims that that number will rise once the service is launched. Citing a $28 billion  worker's compensation market, DaisyBill says that it will run off existing revenue and isn't seeking any funding. Instead, the company is looking to make strategic partnerships.

EMBI: Short for "Emergency Medicine Business Intelligence," EMBI is an analytics tool that helps hospitals make sense of the 146 million patients that go to the emergency room each year. "Most health care providers will tell you that the emergency department is the most complex to manage in the hospital," EMBI co-founder Scott Richards says. EMBI is meant to make it a little bit more simple.

The company already counts 12 hospitals as customers, and has business agreements with 46 other companies. The company charges from $30,000 to $50,000 per year, and charges a $6,000 to $18,000 startup fee. Richards says that the company's market represents $200 million per year. EMBI is looking to raise $475,000.

EnHatch: EnHatch seeks to "facilitate the connections" between experienced surgeons and their younger, unexperienced counterparts. The company showcased iPad and Web applications that allow surgeons to show 3D representations of a surgery and connect with other surgeons to discuss the case.

The company charges between $50 to $250 thousand dollars per year for access to its tools. Four companies have already signed on to use their product, "one of which is one of the largest divisions of one of the largest medical device companies." EnHatch is looking to raise $500,000 and says that $150,000 has already been committed to the round.

AllazoHealth: AllazoHealth is an analytics platform that predicts which patients won't take their medications, and tries to provide an intervention method that will help hospitals get those patients to pop their pills. The service claims to help cut administrative costs by predicting which patients they shouldn't bother contacting and the best method for getting in touch with the people that might need a little nudge.

AllazoHealth claims that, with a pool of 40,000 patients, its predictive engine has 97 percent accuracy. The company says that it can save clients $100 million per year, and will charge just $8 million for its product, and is looking to raise a $600,000 round, of which $325,000 has already been committed.

GeriJoy: "GeriJoy makes talking dogs." That's how GeriJoy founder Victor Wang opened his presentation, which he quickly followed with "three quarters of 80-year olds will end up in a nursing home," taking the conversation from adorable to somber in just a few seconds. This "talking dog" is an iPad app that asks its "owner" about family and simulates a real (if talking) animal at the same time.

The company is raising $300,000, of which $150,000 has already been committed. It announced partnerships with Golden Living Centers, the Alzheimer Research Association, and Scension Health. Wang says that by 2050 Americans will spend over $1 trillion on geriatric care.

SymbiosisHealth: SymbiosisHealth was the first (and only) company that wanted to make healthcare cheaper for consumers. The company makes it easier to book appointments, but that's not the main goal. SymbiosisHealth's proprietary engine takes the cost of a procedure and files the paperwork to cut that cost from a person's deductible.

The company has already signed on three "large" companies as partners, including Walgreens and Discover, for its launch program. SymbiosisHealth is raising $500,000, of which $200,000 has already been committed.

AdhereTech: AdhereTech claims that only 60 percent of patients stick with their medications, and has built a pill bottle that reminds users when to take their pills. The bottle measures the contents of the bottle, sends this data to the cloud, and nags patients via a phone call or text message. The company claims that this improves the adherence rate (percent of people that take their medicine) from 60 percent to 90 percent.

The bottle can figure out when one pill or one milliliter of liquid has been removed from the bottle, and also attempts to figure out why a patient may not have taken their medication. AdhereTech charges pharmaceutical companies for the bottle and then gives those bottles to pharmacies and patients for free. The company signed a deal "literally last night" with the University of Pennsylvania that could be worth $1 million per year. The company is looking to raise $750,000 and has commitments for $150,000 already in place.

HRS: Short for "Health Recovery Solutions," HRS has created its own tablet-software combo to prevent hospital readmissions through – you guessed it – gamification. The company says that readmissions could cost hospitals $1 billion over three years, and claims that its product is the best way to cut those costs.

Hospitals pay 10 percent of what they saved by using the platform (averaging between $100,000 to $200,000 per year) plus an implementation fee. The company is raising $600,000, of which $100,000 has already been committed.


All told, there were a few main themes of the day: big data and making sure people keep poppin' their pills. Only one of the companies – SymbiosisHealth – focused on the person receiving care rather than the institution giving it, and along with GeriJoy and HRS was one of the few with a consumer-facing product.

One other notable element was how happy everyone was to talk about revenue streams, how large their potential market would be when they launched and how large it might be in the future, and the emphasis placed on business partnerships. As Farkash said before the demos began, the healthcare community genuinely seems to be rather tight-knit. And, unlike consumer tech, the companies are happy to say that they're going to get paid for all of the work they're doing.

That may be a tough pill to swallow for some – "Revenues? We don't talk about those!" – but it's a refreshing change of pace.