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Healthcare Apps and Startups Transforming Industry

(Associated Press photo)
(Associated Press photo)

The digital age is transforming the face of industry, altering the way businesses and organizations conduct their operations and interact with customers. The healthcare industry is not immune from those changes.

Providers and patients alike can tap into a growing variety of apps on their smartphones to access medical histories, health and wellness tips, and more. This burgeoning market of healthcare-related technology has led to the formation of incubator companies that aim to support innovation.

Among those companies is StartUp Health, which was founded in 2011 to provide financial assistance, expertise and other resources to help entrepreneurs establish a sustainable business model. StartUp Health enrolls app developers and other companies in its three-year academy program, where they gain access to training, coaching, peer networks and other tools.

“There is great power in these networks and in the access we provide to the community of customers, investors, and partners we have organized to transform healthcare,” the company says on its website.

As of October 2012, StartUp Health had enrolled more than 20 “healthcare transformers” from across the United States into its free academy, with a goal of selecting a total of 40 in 2012. Enrollees must agree to participate in live and Web-based workshops, among other requirements.

The current roster of StartUp enrollees covers an array of startups and other entrepreneurs, including:

Chemotopia: Assists patients during every stage of chemotherapy, from preparation through recovery; facilitates community, conversation and education about cancer and chemotherapy

Force Therapeutics: Patient-management platform for physical therapists; includes compliance tracking, exercise videos and equipment sales

MotherKnows: Allows parents to store and access their children’s complete medical history and records, and share the information with providers; offers hospital-level security and data encryption

RipRoad: Platform allows personalized patient information management on mobile devices, with programs in diabetes, asthma and prenatal care, among others

Truth On Call: Market research platform for healthcare industry professionals; allowing industry members to ask questions of fellow professionals and delivering response surveys via text message

Avado: Relationship management platform for providers and individuals; streamlines scheduling, records management and other patient-provider communications

BrainPaint: Facilitates the clinical and therapeutic use of neurofeedback to help patients adapt their brains to beneficial neurological behavior

CakeHealth: Allows users to track and manage healthcare expenses; alerts users to medical overbilling and provides expense analytics

CareLinx: Connects patients with in-home caregivers; facilitates scheduling, invoicing, payment and online collaboration, and offers video interviews, background checks,and GPS tracking, among other services

CarePlanners: Connects patients with industry experts such as RNs, insurance and billing specialists, and healthcare advocates, for healthcare management services including senior care and chronic illness support

DocPhin: Platform for managing medical news and research; serves providers, medical schools, residency programs and other industry institutions

Empower Interactive: Aims to address the cost of healthcare by offering online and mobile behavioral health tools, including skills for handling stress and anxiety

Greatist: Compendium of reputable social media content related to health and wellness resources, including motivation, stress-relief, weight loss and fitness

Medikly: Online engagement and analytics platform connecting pharmaceutical companies with providers and other healthcare stakeholders

According to a report by Research2Guidance, the global market for healthcare-related smartphone apps will hit $1.3 billion in 2012, almost doubling over the previous year. In addition, the report predicted that almost 250 million mobile users will download a healthcare app in 2012, compared with about 124 million users in 2011.

The digital transformation of the healthcare industry is likely to continue gathering steam, bringing a wave of apps and other technology designed to give patients more control over their care and allow providers to streamline their services.

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