New Philly Health IT Accelerator Opens

Originally posted on MedCity News

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A new health IT accelerator in Philadelphia funded by Pennsylvania has selected seven healthcare startups spanning diagnostic device developers to house calls on demand. It represents an effort to diversify the Science Center’s offerings.

The Digital Health Accelerator is a collaboration between the University City Science Center and Drexel University and is Philly’s third health IT accelerator. Its home is 3401 Market Street — the location for DreamIt Ventures and its own health IT accelerator. A couple of the participants — Biomeme and Fitly– graduated from DreamIt Health’s inaugural class last year. The second class is expected to be announced later this week.

The other members of the Science Center accelerator, according to a statement from the Center include:

Life Patch is designed to take the temperature with a patch instead of a traditional  thermometer. It provides real-time temperature monitoring, according to its website. Users can track their children’s core body temperature through a companion app on a smartphone.

Curbside Care From its website, the company gives the impression that it’s an extension of the hospitality industry. Got a stomach bug and you’re laid up in your hotel room? You can order a nurse practitioner or physician to your room for treatment. It covers things like respiratory infections, muscle aches, some dermatology issues, digestive problems and STDs. Grant Mitchell, who previously co-founded AdhereTech, is the co-founder.

UE LifeSciences Founder and CEO Mihir Shah founded the company in 2009. Its device uses infrared imaging to detect breast cancer. It was cleared by the FDA in 2012. The company has received $1.2 million in research and development funding from Drexel University, Coulter Foundation, the Science Center and Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Keosys The French imaging company has developed its technology for nuclear medicine and radiology.

Pulse InfoFrame hails from Canada by way of the Canadian health IT accelerator on the Science Center’s campus. It uses healthcare informatics for disease management and to improve clinical workflows.

Biomeme has attracted a lot of attention with its smartphone-enabled diagnostic platform, which has applications for public health as well as for diagnosing sexually transmitted diseases — its lead indication. It has studies underway at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and Drexel University.

Fitly is part of a trend of simplifying healthy shopping by encouraging consumers to shop for meals. They receive ingredients and prepare them.

Each company receives $50,000 for the three-month program. In exchange, each must be based in Pennsylvania for the duration of funding. They are also expected to complete their product or service by May 2015. The program is run by Aron Starosta, who set up the Canadian Consulate’s accelerator on the Science Center’s campus

Some of the state funding coming from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Discovered in PA – Developed in PA program — an initiative to boost economic opportunity in the state by seeding innovative ideas that promote entrepreneurship, technology transfer and business outreach.

Stephen Tang, the CEO of the Science Center, has said he sees the accelerator as a way to encourage entrepreneurs to ask important questions earlier in the product development process. Hosting the health IT accelerator is in keeping with the center’s role in the region as a place maker — a facility that bridges connections between companies, entrepreneurs and investors in and out of Philadelphia.

Tang said in the statement that the launch of the accelerator reflected the region’s growing prominence as a hub for health IT and the value the chosen companies place on access to the center’s resources and the strong local market. “In turn, their innovative technologies will have a positive impact on the Commonwealth’s economy, and the health of its citizens.”