Rock Health’s 5th class: Google Glass for health, smart spoons, and Roni Zeiger’s Smart Patients

By: Jonah Comstock | Jun 5, 2013        

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Rock Health new officeSan Francisco-based digital health accelerator Rock Health announced their fifth class this week. The eleven startups will receive $100,000 in investment and a variety of other perks during their four months in the program.

This class will also be the last one to work out of Rock’s old office, in San Francisco’s Chinatown. After this class’s conclusion, the program will move into new office space in Mission Bay, near UCSF’s Center for Digital Health Innovation. The new space is owned by Alexandria Real Estate, whose affiliated venture firm, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, is a new corporate partner for Rock Health. The accelerator also just announced two other new partners: pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim and public relations firm Ogilvy Public Relations. (Correction: A previous version of this story said the fifth class would be the first class in the new office, rather than the last class in the old office, which is accurate.)

“Each of these companies not only recognizes the potential for digital health but is also passionate about engaging with the startup ecosystem. We’re excited to add their perspectives and expertise to our program and look forward to working alongside them in helping our entrepreneurs build successful, sustainable businesses in healthcare,” Rock Health CEO Halle Tecco wrote in a blog post announcing the new class.

Two of the companies in the new class have Google connections: former Google Health chief strategist Roni Zeiger is the founder of Smart Patients, and Augmedix is one of the first startups that aims to leverage Google Glass for healthcare. Other than those two, most of the companies in the new class are relatively unknown or early stage companies.

Here are the companies in Rock Health class number five:

– Eric Page, founder of Amplify Health, previously ran a sleep clinic called REM Medical, which used a pay-for-outcomes rather than a fee-for-service payment structure. Page discovered that the best way to increase adherence and therefore outcomes was to focus on building strong relationships between patients and providers, he writes in a blog post. Amplify was founded to turn that discovery into a company. They use software and analytics to keep doctors and patients connected, engage patients, and measure outcomes. The startup has already worked with at least one customer, Paladina Health Clinic, a subsidiary of Denver-based DaVita Healthcare.

- Anapsis has no web presence yet. Tecco describes it as “a research platform and marketplace for scientific and statistical computing.”

Augmedix is sure to get a fair amount of press attention over the next few months for its connection to Google’s controversial and much-hyped augmented reality glasses project Google Glass. The company, whose founders have been among the lucky few to try out the high-tech specs, hopes to be first on the scene with a Google Glass app for medical doctors. Ian Shakil, one of the founders, previously worked with Cambridge, Mass.-based sports wearable company MC10. “Technology can free physicians and allow them to focus on what they do best,” the founders write on their website, “taking care of patients.”

CancerIQ is a web-based data sharing platform for oncology-related data. According to its website, the company’s big data platform “converts oncology data stored in unstructured enterprise data warehouses into research-quality data for secondary use.” The system, which spun out of the University of Chicago, can incorporate and process genomic data as well as medical images.

CRIXLabs has developed a software platform called NuSilico, designed to help pharma companies find “the next blockbuster drug.” It’s a predictive analysis software for nanoparticle drug candidates, to save pharma companies the expense of going down unproductive drug development allies.

– Another stealthy startup, Fluid, is a flu diagnostic tool, according to Rock Health. It promises to diagnose influenza “in minutes, without the doctor’s visit.”

Lift Labs is building a smart spoon, among other things. But the company has a much more clinical focus than smart fork maker HAPILabs. Their spoon is one of several smart tools for combatting the tremors inherent in diseases like Parkinson’s. The company also has Apple and Android apps available to measure tremors (Lift Pulse) and to help people with Parkinson’s prevent shuffling as they walk (Lift Stride).

Sensentia is “developing a new breed of intelligent systems for healthcare administration and operation,” according to Rock Health. On the company’s own website, it describes itself as “striving to enable the next paradigm of knowledge automation and computational reasoning.” Essentially, the company appears to be building an automated system for handling health insurance queries that are currently handled by human agents. According to Angel List, the company is headed up by former GE employee Juan Junglaus and serial entrepreneur Ronin Amit. The company already claims Humana as a customer.

– MobiHealthNews already wrote about Roni Zeiger’s new startup Smart Patients back in April. The online community for cancer patients and care providers is certainly one of the most high-profile startups in the new class.

Spire is working on a wearable sensor that “tracks both physical and psychological fitness to lower stress and increase productivity,” according to Rock Health. The device is designed to help people change the way they breathe.

– Finally, ThriveOn is a startup working on mobile mental health programs. Rock Health says the programs are “customized for every individual” from screen to treatment.

  • Jessica Margolin

    Hi, Jonah – Thank you for the mention, and I appreciate mobihealthnews’ efforts to stay on top of a very rapidly evolving field!

    I do want to correct one potential misconception, though: HAPILABS is actually very interested in the QS and clinical applications of the HAPIfork as a data collection device. We sponsored the Doctors 2.0 conference in Paris, for example.

    Not only is the speed of eating is implicated in weight-loss — and so all diseases that have overweight as a contributing factor are relevant — but it is also contributory to reflux episodes.