Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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A BI-WEEKLY PUBLICATION FROM THE CEDARS-SINAI CHIEF OF STAFF October 19, 2018 | Archived Issues

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Accelerated Innovations on Display at Demo Day

The fourth class of the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator is shown during Demo Day.

"How many of you remember every conversation you had yesterday?" asked Patrick Leonard, co-founder and CEO of Sopris Health.

Not a single hand was raised among the nearly 300 Cedars-Sinai employees, healthcare executives and potential investors seated in the Silver Screen Theater at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood for Demo Day on Oct. 9.

Leonard posed a follow-up question. "What if you not only had to recall every conversation, but also document those conversations? You couldn't, yet that's what we ask clinicians to do."

Sopris Health—along with seven other health-tech startups that formed the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator's fourth class—have developed solutions to challenges across the healthcare spectrum. Sopris Health's solution to clinicians' documentation burden is an app that uses voice recognition and machine learning to automatically translate doctor-patient interactions into clinical notes, including correct coding to optimize reimbursement.

Chosen from more than 400 applicants, these innovators spent the past three months hunkered down in the Cedars-Sinai "Innovation Space" adjacent to the medical center, pouring sweat equity into what they hope will be breakthrough products and services. The companies receive seed money and are mentored by physicians, researchers and executives from Cedars-Sinai and other healthcare organizations, as well as a network of entrepreneurs and investors.

Darren Dworkin, senior vice president of Enterprise Information Services and chief information officer, kicked off Demo Day, the culminating event of each Accelerator class.

"Almost 40 companies have gone through our Accelerator since its launch in March 2016, and in a short amount of time we've really grown our role and reputation in the startup community," Dworkin said. "We couldn't have achieved this without Techstars' guidance, so it's bittersweet that this will be the last class conducted in partnership with Techstars, but their influence will live on as we continue the program on our own."

kēlaHealth presented a software platform that combines predictive algorithms with medical interventions aimed at reducing surgical complications, saving hospitals money and improving patient outcomes. kēlaHealth will be collaborating with Cedars-Sinai cardiac surgeons to identify potential initial uses for the company's product.

Improving patient outcomes is a goal shared by CardioCube, creator of a voice-enabled, interactive platform (think Amazon Echo and Google Home) that provides at-home support to patients with chronic heart disease. The platform allows patients to track symptoms and alerts physicians when necessary.

Several Accelerator startups tackled back-office issues. MedPilot, for example, helps health system billing departments collect patient payments quicker and more efficiently. Using data science and behavioral targeting, MedPilot recommends the communications avenue most likely to elicit a positive response from individual patients. The company credits the accelerator and Cedars-Sinai mentor Hank Smither for significantly expanding its customer base.

"We feel extremely fortunate to have been part of the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator. Since starting the program in July, we have grown from 15 customers to over 50, and we learned how to build our product to meet the needs of a world-class medical center," said MedPilot's Co-founder and chief marketing officer Matt Buder Shapiro.

Digital Medical Tech's founder and CEO Matthew Nicholson presented a high-tech solution to a low-tech problem—lost or misplaced medical devices and equipment. Using Bluetooth technology and sterilized tracking tags, the company's real-time location system provides monitoring and management of medical assets. Nicholson announced that Digital Medical Tech will soon be deploying 1,000 tracking tags at Cedars-Sinai as part of a pilot program.

Medical devices also are central to startup Relatable, but the focus is purchasing. The company developed software enabling healthcare procurement personnel to browse and compare similar medical devices made by different manufacturers, resulting in greater efficiency and cost savings.

ALIS Health introduced the audience to its full-service, on-demand digital clinic for women featuring a host of capabilities, including scheduling appointments, filling prescriptions and accessing telemedicine; user satisfaction increases and costs are reduced.

Demo Day concluded with Nicolette, a company rooted in personal experience. In 2015, Nicolette co-founder and CEO Phil Martie and his wife welcomed preterm twins into the world, each weighing under one-and-a-half pounds. It was an overwhelming situation, one the couple felt ill-equipped to navigate.

NicoBoard, Nicolette's first product, is an iPad app that provides parents of infants in a NICU with engagement tools and easy-to-understand clinical and educational information about preterm babies. Martie summed up his accelerator experience succinctly.

"Simply put, Nicolette is a better company after participating in the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator. We tested NicoBoard in the Cedars-Sinai NICU to uncover areas needing further development, and the EIS team helped improve our cloud infrastructure." Adding, "These achievements will enable Nicolette to scale with excellence to other health systems."

The Cedars-Sinai Accelerator is currently accepting applications for its fifth class. Submissions are due by Feb. 15, and the session will start May 27.