Sunday, February 12, 2012

Search for Health Care Startups

Ask and it will be given, seek and you shall find.

Matthew 7:7

Attempt the end, never stand in doubt,
Nothing’s so bad, but search will find it out.

Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

February 12, 2012 - Yesterday I was reading The Health Care Blog (THCB). There I ran across “Startups: The Other Health Trend Revolution” by Rick Choi. Choi is a San Francisco pediatrician and Internet nerd. He was just back from The Health Innovation Summit, organized by Rock Health, an incubator California firm in search of venture-fundable startups.

Of the HIT revolution he has just witnessed in action, Choi observed “The revolution ushered in electronic health records (EHR) is less about technology than the widespread impact it will have on patient care.”

Like Choi, I am in search of health care startups. I may include them in a book I may be collaborating on about health care startups and lessons learned from successful and failed ventures.

The word “search” encapsulates the Internet's promise. With its search engines, the Web is transforming medicine. These search engines, with Google as the grand daddy of them, facilitate searches by physicians and patients for solutions, options, everything, and anything related to health care.

That is why health care start ups want to move up the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) scale to get their ideas and products noticed and funded.

Choi lists these ideas and start-ups as candidates for venture funding.

Cardioo – a device measuring heart rate in a few seconds by scanning your face.

Health Tap, Inc – a startup based in Palo Alto, California. It seeks advice from participating physicians about treatment options and was recently featured in the New York Times (“Advice for the Ill, and Points for Doctors”.

Docphin, Inc - This firm has developed sensors to help monitor and measure posture causing back pain. It says that 80% of Americans suffer back pain sometime in their life and that back pain costs us more than $50 billion each year.

Azumio, Inc - This firm quantifies levels and psychological and physical stress and has raised $2.5 million from Founders Fund, Accel Partners, and Felisce Ventures. Its devices can be accessed by Smart phones.

@Budge – Its product are being promoted via Twitter and are designed to help you systematically improve your health. @Budge has issued 251 tweets and has 655 followers.

I have no idea whether these firms' ideas and products will succeed. I do not know if they will receive the funding they seek. I do know search engines are transforming the health care landscape. And I know I have favorite startups of my own.

These include:

The InstantMedicalHistory(It allows patients, guided by a clinical algorithm, to generate their own medical record from home or the reception room, generates a narrative history, and saves doctors 6-8 minute a patient by quickly getting to the core of the patient’s problem);

Share Medical Systems (It markets a portable, no-risk device that permits a physician to evaluate the cause of shortness of breath, separates pulmonary from cardiac causes, and prints out the risks of hospitalization and death);

Emmi solutions ( it markets its product, which features video previews visually showing patients what to expect from a procedure of a medical problem, to hospitals and physicians).

Tweet: Venture capitalists are searching for ideas and products with a return on investment and the potential for transforming the health system.

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