WESTBOROUGH – The Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech (MeHI) has selected three of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ leading healthcare R&D hubs to join the Digital Health Sandbox Network, which connects Massachusetts-based startups to cutting-edge R&D facilities and allows them the opportunity to apply for funding to test their innovations at one of the Network’s labs. The new additions to the roster of Sandbox locations are Brigham Digital Innovation Hub (iHub) in Boston, MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) in Cambridge, and TechSpring at Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass.
We caught up with the award winners at the 2019 MassChallenge HealthTech Finale to get their reaction to winning, their thoughts on the Massachusetts digital health ecosystem, and find out what their experiencing in the latest MCHT cohort was like.
WORCESTER — Governor Baker today announced a new grant program as part of the Administration’s Digital Health Initiative that will provide $500,000 in funding to open doors for healthcare technology startups to access research and development “sandboxes.” Governor Baker made the announcement during a visit with Digital Health Council members at WPI’s PracticePoint, one of the facilities supported by the program, where healthcare startups will be able to test existing technologies and develop new products and services.
In 2015, a three person team at Boston Children’s Hospital set out to help the estimated 20 percent of children struggling with emotional regulation, which often shows up as anxiety or outbursts. That team grew into a stand-alone company called Mightier, a startup that produces modified video games that help children develop skills to regulate their behavior and emotions.
We recently sat down with Trevor Stricker, one of the founding members of Mightier, to get a better understanding of their product and how it could change our approach to behavioral health. During the interview, Stricker noted how Massachusetts played a unique role in forming their company.
During his 30 years in the aging and caregiving space, Benchmark Chairman and CEO Tom Grape has seen a fair amount of change in the industry. Today, Benchmark operates nearly 60 different properties for seniors with four areas of focus: independent living, assisted living, mind and memory care, and continuing care retirement communities. While Grape manages a growing portfolio, he is always on the lookout for innovative products and solutions to implement at Benchmark.
Nell Meosky Luo founded Folia to change the way patients and family caregivers collect and share data to improve treatment outcomes for people suffering from chronic diseases. In our existing system, patients and their families know a lot about how a patient is doing, but their medical professionals are limited to the data they capture during visits. Folia’s technology makes it easier for patients and caregivers to share daily data and communicate with their providers.
Leuko co-founder, Carlos Castro-Gonzalez, was inspired to develop the technology with his partners at MIT after watching a friend go through treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. A typical chemotherapy cycle usually lasts about three weeks, resulting in a rise and fall of white blood cell levels after each treatment. The problem, as Castro-Gonzalez points out, is that current treatment methods only measure white blood cell counts before a new round of chemotherapy, leaving patients and providers in the dark about white blood cell counts after treatment. PointCheck fills that gap by allowing providers to see if a patient’s white blood cell count is at a healthy threshold at any time and determining how, if at all, they should change their treatment plan.
Planning for the end of your life is probably not high on your list of things to do right now. In fact, you probably don’t want to think about it at all. The idea of death makes us naturally squeamish and uncomfortable, so we put off even thinking about it. This is where Cake comes in. The Boston-based digital health startup aims to make planning for the end of your life as easy as, well, you know.
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem, innovators like Rendever CEO Kyle Rand are developing new ways to help seniors stay connected in their later years. Kyle and his team have developed a virtual reality (VR) platform that gives seniors the ability to experience new places and revisit cherished memories. The company’s goal is simple, yet critically important one: to make seniors feel happier and less isolated.