Few things have better illustrated the need for innovative medical technologies than the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mayo Clinic and ASU MedTech Accelerator, a flagship program of the Mayo Clinic and ASU Alliance for Health Care, was designed to help empower medical startups to better navigate challenges while bringing forth life-changing health innovations. The second cohort of this program is set to launch March 30, 2021.
The accelerator provides emerging companies with a multi-day immersive curriculum in health care entrepreneurship including: lectures and workshops with world-class scientific and engineering experts; resources to navigate regulatory pathways; and tools for product commercialization and customer acquisition. Additionally, participants attend mentoring, business development, and networking events.
“The need for innovation in health care has never been more evident than right now,” said Rick Hall, senior director of health innovation at ASU’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation and managing partner of the MedTech Accelerator. “We are seeing an acceleration in disruptions related to technology and an appetite by stakeholders, regulators, and policy makers to leverage innovation while also breaking down the barriers that have traditionally slowed development and adoption. Smart entrepreneurs are using this time to develop solutions that are timely, adaptable, and needed.”
After the monthlong curriculum portion of the program, the cohort will remain a part of the MedTech Accelerator support network allowing startups continued collaboration and guidance.
“This is an unparalleled launchpad for companies to engage with physicians and entrepreneurs from a top health care facility such as Mayo as well as innovative experts at ASU,” said Dr. Steven Lester, associate medical director of Mayo Clinic’s Department of Business Development and co-founder and chief medical officer of the MedTech Accelerator. “It’s truly incredible the way this collaboration has connected the complex systems at both of these institutions to help bring the best resources and brightest minds to these companies.”
This year’s participating companies span a wide range of sectors across health care and medicine:
AdviNow is automating patient visits by embedding artificial intelligence and augmented reality into medical practices. Both patients and providers are augmented to streamline diagnosis and visit time, while increasing convenience for both parties.
BrainFx delivers digital cognitive assessments of patients directly to health providers to compare to the BrainFx Living Brain Bank, a database of normal brain assessments. The tool provides practitioners a wealth of neurological information to assist in care planning and diagnosis, while increasing efficiency and cost savings.
Tracy Milner, founder and CEO of Brain Fx, believes that aligning her company with and learning from ASU and Mayo Clinic will accelerate the mission and expansion of BrainFx.
“Our mission is to make what is invisible visible for people with brain and mental health disorders to improve everyday life, and we can’t do it alone,” said Milner. “ASU and Mayo Clinic are respected thought leaders, world-class innovators, and drive clinical excellence, which represent BrainFx’s core values and the type of organization we are striving to become,” Milner said.
Hoy Health is focused on bringing accessible care to empowered and educated American consumers. Their services include providing patients with bilingual English and Spanish speaking health care providers, medication access, chronic condition care, telehealth proliferation and health literacy education for the public.
Hucu.ai is innovating the way patients and providers can interact. The company has streamlined normative patient portal communications into a HIPAA-compliant texting app. In less than 10 minutes, patients and providers are linked through the program and can communicate about future visits, medications and questions about individual health goals. The app was designed to reduce burnout and allow physicians to do more for their patients in less time, while lowering stress for patients with pressing health questions or concerns.
Mindset Medical’s team is set out to solve the “too little, too late” problem that frustrates many physicians when they can’t help a patient by the time a visit finally rolls around. The digital health technology company offers an intelligent virtual health platform that triages patients, placing the right patients in front of the right specialists at the right time.
The platform connects providers to patients through video and text without the need for specialized telehealth equipment, apps or passwords to remember. Each stage of a patient’s visit is automated to extract real-time, meaningful patient data, delivering efficiency and effectiveness overall. Additionally, the platform delivers patient education material and ensures treatment compliance through medication reminders and routine care instructions.
What if surgeons could get more realistic practice on breathing, blood-pumping bodies? ReSuture is paving the way to this vision of the future with the creation of synthetic vasculature for surgical training. The company delivers a lifelike procedural experience outside the operating room, allowing students to gain operative experience in a controlled environment. ReSuture’s vision is to become a predominant training system and reinvent the way medical schools and residency programs train and credential their providers.
ScalaMed is a smart prescription platform to help health care organizations better engage their patients and improve quality metrics and pharmaceutical outcomes. ScalaMed is innovating the prescribing process by allowing providers to send prescriptions directly to patients’ mobile devices. This direct-to-consumer option is paired with ScalaMed’s medication comparison tools, a virtual care coordinator who monitors prescription adherence and ScalaMed’s digital assistant, who links the patient back into care — effectively reducing medication mismanagement through early intervention, triage and patient support.
This medical technology startup has perfected the lateral patient transfer process with its automated transfer device, SimPull. With the device, patients are transferred safely and respectfully, while saving health care workers from injury.
“For a new company like us to get the support from both ASU and Mayo Clinic —two industry-leading organizations — is an incredible value add for our group long term,” said Andrew Heuerman, CEO of The Patient Company. “By participating in the accelerator just before our commercial launch, it allows us the opportunity to receive unique feedback and support on not only the product but also our approaches within the marketplace, and long-term vision. We know that Mayo Clinic and ASU will continue to support us following the program while our device is with its first customers, which is very exciting.”
Many of the six companies from the 2019 inaugural cohort have already reaped the benefits of their participation, including SAFE Health. Ken Mayer, Founder and CEO of SAFE Health, said the MedTech Accelerator “really put together a program that was tailored specifically to us. They worked very hard to extract what it was that our business objectives were. And then out of it, we were able to establish some relationships that helped define what the nuances were so that we could really jump right into it.”
The MedTech Accelerator is supported by The Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University Alliance for Health Care. The alliance is developing comprehensive improvements in the science of health care delivery and practice, all toward one goal: continually advancing patient care. Together, the recognized world leader in patient care, education and research, and the nation’s No. 1-ranked university for innovation are combining expertise from every corner of health care — doctors to bioengineers to business experts — for an adaptive approach to preparing the next generation of health care pioneers and practitioners in our communities.
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to innovation in clinical practice, education and research, and providing compassion, expertise and answers to everyone who needs healing. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network for additional Mayo Clinic news.
Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.
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