DENVER, Colo. – Last Thursday night, the café at Galvanize’s Golden Triangle campus was packed with an informal gathering of tech entrepreneurs and enthusiasts who had come to the co-working space for Pitchers & Pitches, Galvanize’s monthly pitch contest for local startups. Three of the six companies chosen to present at the event were digital health startups.
Kevin Krauth, the co-founder of Orderly Health, represented the first digital health company to take the stage at last Thursday’s Pitchers & Pitches. His presentation gave the gathering of startup entrepreneurs and enthusiasts a comprehensive sense of his company’s scope and ambition.
“How many of you know to the dollar how much you spent in total on healthcare last year?” Krauth asked the crowd. “You also have to remember to include premiums, out-of-pocket expenses, after-tax contributions to your HSA or FSA, acupuncture, chiropractic, prescriptions, over-the-counter medicine –- everything.”
“Any hands?” Kevin looked around at the quiet audience members, who appeared to have been silenced by the deluge of considerations that one had to take into account when budgeting for healthcare in America. “No one?”
“This is a problem, because if you don’t know how much you’re spending on healthcare, then you have no idea how to keep your costs down, and you have no idea how to manage those costs.”
“Orderly helps to bridge this gap,” Krauth said, depicting his product as a means of reducing those excessive healthcare costs. “For consumers, Orderly provides a powerful platform to manage your expenses. You start by linking any account where you spend money on healthcare. Orderly will pull all of your spending data and organize it into an intuitive dashboard. We then analyze this data to offer you personalized insights into how to get the most out of your healthcare.”
According to Krauth, the market for healthcare analytics will grow to over $20 billion by 2020. Orderly Health aims to take a segment of that market by targeting high-frequency users of the healthcare system, along with the 15.5 million Americans who have high-deductible insurance plans.
“By signing up for Orderly, you receive an amazing free service that helps you save money irrespective of your insurance company or your employer,” Krauth said. “We then anonymize and aggregate data into a secure database that can be used by benefits brokers or care organizations to better stratify risk, predict cost, or design coverage plans that are more responsive to members like you.”
Before founding Orderly Health, Krauth worked at EA Sports, where he assisted in the creation of data analytics projects for the organization. His co-founder, James Dickhoner, was an MD who had completed a program in entrepreneurship at Stanford University.
“We’ve only been working on this full-time for about two months,” Krauth said, “and we’re already seeing some incredible progress.” He went on to list Orderly’s accomplishments to date, which included requesting data from four of the six major payers, getting over a hundred people to sign up for its alpha product, and negotiating a paid pilot with a local self-insured employer.
“Just a few hours ago, we found out that we’re moving on in the interview process for getting into Techstars as well,” Krauth added.
Mike Kobneck, co-founder of Novum Concepts and a paramedic with over ten years of ambulance experience, provided the audience at Galvanize with their second digital health pitch of the evening. Along with his co-founder and fellow paramedic, Kevin Scardina, Kobneck had run almost 10,000 emergency calls for the City and County of Denver.
“One of the things I noticed on all of those calls was that getting good quality data from the field to the hospital was always very challenging,” Kobneck said. “Often there’s a lot of stuff that’s going on. If you’re doing CPR or if there’s somebody who’s been shot multiple times, this can lead to poor communication from the field.”
Kobneck went on to describe the issues that might arise due to communication difficulties between emergency responders and the hospital, including an inability for the hospital to properly prepare to receive the patient, which in many cases could lead to delays in care.
“So I turned to one of my paramedic friends and I said, ‘What do you think we can do about this?” Kobneck said. Inspired by the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” he and Scardina set to work developing their signature product, Biophone.
“Biophone takes images and video from the field, and it encodes them with end-to-end encryption that’s HIPPA compliant,” he explained. “It sends that to the hospital, which is then able to look at the images and videos on an iPad.”
According to Kobneck, Biophone is currently being used in Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette, Colorado. Four transporting agencies are also using the app, including Mountain View Fire, Louisville Fire, Lafayette Fire, and Rocky Mountain Fire. After revealing that Novum Concepts was currently attempting a county-wide push in Boulder, Kobneck added that his company was in early discussions with AMR, the largest ambulance service in the nation.
“The way that we’re being used at Good Samaritan is for registration purposes only, to get rid of that bottle-neck,” Kobneck said.
Regarding its revenue model, Novum Concepts charges hospitals a flat fee for the month, which pays for its servers. Then the company charges its clients a per message fee. “So if you’re a hospital that gets 500 monthly patients, you’re charged less than a hospital with 2,000 monthly patients.”
Kobneck finished his pitch by sharing the story of Biophone’s development. “My partner Kevin has previous coding experience. He worked in Silicon Valley during the late 90s and early 2000s. We built Biophone while we were on the ambulance. We had no outside funding whatsoever. We built it on the nights and weekends around our shifts,” he said.
The third and final digital health company to pitch their product at Galvanize last Thursday was Lifestyle Social, whose wellness platform was intended to help personal trainers better coach their clients.
“The fitness status quo in American is not working,” Lifestyle Social CEO Matt Lowe declared at the start of his presentation. “Over 75% of the US population is now overweight or obese. And wellness professionals know that 75% of success in healthy living is proper nutrition alone.”
Lowe faulted the personal training industry for its slow adoption of fitness technology. “Cardio and strength training is now Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled. Wearables can count sets and repetitions. However, this is causing another level of complexity for the consumer. Numbers alone don’t produce results. Numbers and knowledge do.”
Claiming that tech-savvy trainers would play a necessary role in addressing the obesity pandemic, Lowe emphasized that the major obstacle to empowering these trainers was figuring out how to aggregate and analyze the data that they gathered during training sessions. “Wellness pros still use antiquated, one-dimensional systems,” he said. “You can walk into any club or rec center and they’re still using paper and pencil methods for tracking their clients’ personal training, with little or no nutritional direction.”
It was for this reason that Lifestyle Social had developed its platform. “We built a dashboard that’s an intelligent virtual assistant for wellness professionals. It’s a web-based software solution to help increase program engagement as well as client success by combining multiple elements into one easy to use dashboard.”
According to Lowe, the Lifestyle Social wellness platform includes an education portal so that trainers can provide their clients with appropriate information regarding their specific regimens. The portal’s educational materials are drawn from a database that Lifestyle Social developed in partnership with Stanford University and the University of Tampa.
Lowe went on to describe the customizable nature of the platform, which had a drag-and-drop interface that allowed for individualized workouts, and adjustable meal plans that could be built according to the resting metabolic rate of a client. “All of this allows trainers to focus more on service, and less on the science of training.”
In closing, Lowe revealed that in the three weeks since Lifestyle Social had launched its platform, they had already received inquiries from hospitals and corporate wellness programs, including the national giant GlobalFit.
“Lifestyle Social is dedicated to making the world a healthier place,” Lowe said, “one trainer at a time.”