Learn more about the projects approved through the Digital Health Sandbox Grant Program below. For each project, all funding goes directly to the Sandbox to cover the cost of supporting the project.
For more information about a specific project, contact Sandbox Program Manager, Katie Green, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dynocardia was awarded $43,750 to cover a one-year Startup Membership at PracticePoint at WPI. Dynocardia is developing the first stand alone, continuous, and non-invasive blood pressure monitor. Through their membership, Dynocardia is using PracticePoint’s testing and machine-shop facilities and working with their expert faculty and staff. They will be testing and optimizing the design of their prototype, developing a motion capture system, and performing systems integration and testing. Dynocardia contributed an additional $6,250 in matching funding to pay for their one-year membership. The project is anticipated to finish in October 2021.
Leuko Labs was awarded $60,000 to work with MIT IMES to perform usability testing on their PointCheck device. Leuko is developing the world’s first portable, non-invasive white blood cell monitoring device to screen for severe neutropenia. The grant is covering the fees for MIT IMES’ CRC Clinical Research Team and staff to work with Leuko to test that their PointCheck device can be safely and effectively operated by untrained operators. This work will prepare Leuko for a clinical trial and FDA certification. MIT IMES staff is providing a replicated home and clinical setting, assistance with subject recruitment, oversight and assistance with research visits, in house analysis of blood samples, and secure electronic research data capture and transmission. The project is anticipated to wrap up in Spring 2022.
Thriving.ai was awarded $50,000 to work with the UMass Amherst Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) to further develop their independent living solution. Thriving.ai offers an integrated platform that brings together everyone involved in the healthcare, social care, informal family care, and professional care of an individual, or “Thriver.” Their partnership with IALS is helping Thriving.ai identify, evaluate, and integrate smart sensors with their platform. The sensors will collect data that will be analyzed to identify patterns and flag irregularities to generate alerts for caregivers. The grant is providing access for Thriving.ai to UMass Amherst’s mock smart home environment to conduct a trial of the sensor integration and collect activity data. The IALS team will also serve as a sounding board and advisor on user interface parameters. Thriving.ai is scheduled to complete their project in September 2022.
Through two phases of funding, Nutrimedy was awarded $70,000 to cover TechSpring’s fees to plan and execute a pilot of Nutrimedy’s patient-facing nutritional support platform. Nutrimedy’s mission is to improve health and reduce the epidemic burden of chronic disease by improving access to convenient, expert, personalized, and affordable nutritional counseling. The first phase of funding covered the fees for Nutrimedy to work with TechSpring’s Innovation Managers to complete the discovery and planning phases of their pilot, including recruiting clinicians, designing the pilot workflow, and completing compliance, information security, and IRB reviews. In the second phase of the project, Nutrimedy worked with TechSpring and Baystate Health to pilot their platform with oncology patients pre and post-surgery. They gathered user feedback from patients and clinicians and assessed the effectiveness of the platform in increasing patients’ access to clinical nutrition care and in reaching their pre-surgical nutritional goals. Nutrimedy completed their project in January 2021.
Stability Health was awarded a $25,000 grant to cover a one-year Silver Membership at PracticePoint at WPI. Stability Health is a complex chronic care management company focused on improving diabetes care. Through their membership, Stability Health partnered with WPI faculty and students to test and further develop their mobile application, MyStablePath (MSP). The project focused on evaluation of user interface design, form, and function, as well as investigation into additional technology-enabled monitoring tools. Stability worked with WPI faculty and students to determine appropriate user personas for MSP, recruit personas for interviews and surveys, and analyze the data to determine future MSP design specifications. Stability completed their project in October 2020.
BlocHealth is building a healthcare professional credential sharing network leveraging a public blockchain and smart application technology. In 2019, they were awarded $25,000 to work with TechSpring to evaluate and improve their platform. The funding enabled BlocHealth to work with TechSpring’s Innovation Strategists to gain access to Baystate Health stakeholders and to hold facilitated observations, interviews, and workshops with Baystate employees. Through this collaboration, BlocHealth was able to understand the current workflow for initial and ongoing credentialing and privileging at Baystate. They used this information and feedback to validate their use case, understand the requirements to integrate their product within complex health systems, and guide future enhancements of their product. BlocHealth completed their project in June 2020.
Health Together offers a peer health community that connects patients who have experience with a particular illness with those who may be newly diagnosed. They were awarded $25,000 to work with TechSpring to evaluate and validate their platform. The funding provided Health Together with access to a TechSpring Innovation Strategist and Program Manager to conduct a design audit and usability testing for their platform. While focused on Health Together’s nascent mental health offering and the “Healthangels” who serve as moderators on the platform, the project also looked at the broader site structure and content, studying its features and capabilities in relation to competitive products and interviewing a variety of stakeholders to come up with a set of recommendations. TechSpring oversaw the project, uncovering best practices, addressing challenges, and providing valuable feedback to Health Together on end-user engagement and experience. Through the project, Health Together was able to develop a future state design brief, which included opportunities for innovation and differentiation, prioritization, and specific recommendations based on stakeholder and end-user input. Health Together completed their project in September 2021.
Tranquil Data was awarded $47,200 to partner with MITRE to engage with standards bodies and open-source communities to evolve the nascent consent management standards and develop a draft implementation guide for FHIR-based consent portability. Through its automated process, Tranquil Data aims to unlock the value of existing data by connecting that data to its context, simplifying compliance and empowering agile analysis, innovation, and transformation. The goal of the implementation guide is to enable NextGen interoperability through the exchange of consents and related patient, member, and healthcare consumer data. The guide is critical to enabling a seamless experience for members transitioning between health plans and it also provides value to payers looking to meet the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ payer-to-payer data exchange requirements. The Tranquil Data team was also able to leverage their work with MITRE to open interesting conversations with prospective partners. Tranquil Data completed their project in January 2022.
Keva Health is developing a SaaS platform to remotely monitor patients with chronic respiratory illnesses. Through two rounds of funding, Keva Health was awarded $50,000 to cover TechSpring’s fees to complete the discovery, planning, and execution of a pilot of Keva’s platform with asthma patients at Baystate Health. Keva first completed the discovery and planning phases, including defining a participant onboarding process and physician office workflow for the pilot, developing marketing collateral and onboarding materials to use during the pilot, and completing compliance and information security reviews with Baystate Health. The pilot started in Spring 2021 and recruited 17 asthma patients to use the Keva Health platform in between their regularly scheduled visits. Through the pilot, Keva Health tracked patient and physician engagement with their platform and assessed the value to both patients and providers in using their remote patient monitoring tool. TechSpring provided oversight of the project, tracking the progress and milestones, helping address any challenges, and providing feedback to Keva on the pilot experience. Keva Health provided a matching investment of $6,250 in spirometer devices to use during the pilot. The project finished in October 2021.