Startups scrutinized at Venture+ Forum

February 24, 2014 in Medical Technology

At the daylong Venture+ Forum at HIMSS14 on Sunday, startup entrepreneurs wooed potential investors with their business plans, showcasing their strategies for improving healthcare with technology.

In two sessions at the forum, early-stage companies presented their elevator pitches to a packed room: seven-minute spiels, followed by three minutes of pointed questioning from a Shark Tank-like panel of experts.

The companies’ business models all seek to address some of the most costly and vexing problems facing healthcare. Some of their fixes may be more realistic than others. Some bold claims may or may not hold up to closer scrutiny. Certainly, not every company will snare the millions in capital they’re looking for. But in presenting their bona fides, the firms’ founders could hardly be more passionate.

ACOMS+ CEO David Bitton explained how his company helps nascent accountable care organizations reduce hospital readmissions by enabling data sharing, integrating multiple EHRs into one customizable system, layered with algorithms that predict risk.

Mobile Health One CEO David Crane touted his company’s goal of “meaningfully, seamlessly connecting professionals” across and among organizations, and spurring patient engagement with the help of its communication tools. Business, he said, “doubled overnight” recently with two big deals in quick succession.

ActualMeds CEO Patricia Meisner said her cloud-based medication management technology “(gets) to the crux of poor medication outcomes in high-risk patients,” and hopes targeted customers such as Medicare Advantage and Part D plans will agree. “Think of us as the CarFax of medication reconciliation,” she said.

OpenMarkets CEO Dan Michalek hopes some of the 5,700 hospitals, spending a combined $60 billion on new MRIs, defibrillators and beds, will see the appeal of his company, which “(groups) together clients to buy together,” using data aggregation for a smarter approach.

These companies – along with the 16 others who presented at the Venture+ Forum – will be at the Startup Showcase (Booth #7293) in Hall E during HIMSS14. The challenge for them, of course, is to evolve from startups to successful, sustainable companies. In healthcare, especially these days, the competition is fierce.

“If you want to be successful, and not be a flash in the pan … you’d better have something that cost-reduces, is efficiency-ready, answers some type of mandated need or helps the reimbursement curve,” VC investor Joseph Volpe told Healthcare IT News recently. “If you don’t have any of those, you’re missing some big piece of your model.”

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