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Challenge Festival Health Startups Developing Devices, Empowering Patients, and More

Challenge Festival

When it comes to health tech, our startups have a knack for increasing efficiency and lowering costs. Our Challenge Cup health winners have a lot of potential to make the world a safer and healthier place, and we can’t wait to see what they bring to the table at this year’s Challenge Festival.

Here are four of the major trends you’ll hear through pitches at the global competition next month:

  1. They’re developing devices. These startups identified problems within specific health categories and set out to solve them with innovative technology.

In D.C., we met 1EQ—a medical technology that allows pregnant women to have access to resources in between doctor appointments. This startup is all about prenatal care through its convenient mobile app and wifi-connected devices. Another startup developed a mobile app that works with amputees. Instead of spending unnecessary time and money recruiting professionals to make measurements, Amman-based Project X uses 3-D imaging to fit patients for prosthetics.

For patients with hypertension, Beijing 37 mHealth has a product that uses both software and hardware to collect blood pressure data. Our Beijing winner’s mission is to help patients manage chronic illness with mobile technology.

ATP Innovations winner ResQdevices, on the other hand, focuses on paramedic safety with a couple of different products. ParaCart is a compact combination of a stretcher and stair chair, while the LineSaver is body armor for IV tubes.

  1. They’re empowering patients to care for themselves with apps and data. These startups recognize the importance of technology as a tool that people can depend on to simplify their everyday lives.

Speaking of managing everyday health conditions with mobile tech, Berlin’s Insulin Angel has developed a product that notifies diabetics before their medications reach unhealthy temperatures. The reminder app acts as a caretaker by alerting patients when they forget their medication or equipment.

In Austin, Keet Software pitched another mobile app idea that lowers cost and increases efficiency for patients. The HIPAA-compliant platform transforms traditional paper-based physical therapy programs into web-based mobile apps.

Medivizor of Tel Aviv takes a broader approach by interpreting the endless medical jargon on the web and personalizing it to fit the user’s specific needs. Instead of sifting through useless and often inaccurate data, this startup uses your medical history to create a profile that only gives you relevant information and updates.

Similarly, Nairobi’s Health-E-Net gives patients high-quality second opinions, empowering them to make the best decisions for themselves. The social enterprise focuses in developing countries with limited access to connect them with volunteer medical specialists over an electronic platform.

Another startup introduced us to a different way to look at the food we eat everyday. Dublin’s Nuritas data mines food to discover amino acids that contain beneficial health properties and then turns them into an ingredient that can be added to other products.

  1. They’re focusing globally. These startups are working to tackle broad issues around the globe as well as specific problems in their own backyard.

Bangalore introduced us to a startup that’s focusing on a major problem in its region—ventilator-associated pneumonia. Coeo Labs created an affordable device that modernizes an outdated procedure and helps reduce the risk of VAP.

Another startup uses mobile tech to keep clinics prepared so they never run out of the essential supplies. Chicago’s Project SAM is an inventory management platform helping multinational organizations that operate in developing countries.

In Mexico City, we met Unima, a startup that uses diagnostics technology to collect health data globally and analyze it in real time. The company’s primary focus is diagnosing Tuberculosis in poverty-stricken areas.

  1. They’re helping hospitals and care providers. These startups are developing products that streamline everyday processes so medical professionals are able to devote more of their time investing in patients, rather than doing tedious tasks.

Sanitization plays a huge role in the daily routines of hospital workers. That’s why Toronto’s Limestone Labs designed an ultraviolet technology that allows them to quickly sanitize portable electronics—from smartphones to thermometers.

Our San Francisco winner makes personalized cancer therapeutics available to millions of underserved patients. Kuveda’s big data analytics web tool significantly reduces analysis time and costs.

OpenBeds digitizes transfers between hospitals for patients that need specialty care. The New York City winner does the work for medical professionals so they can spend more time caring for patients.

We met a startup in Boston—Fluid-Screen—that streamlines another routine process in medical centers. The handheld device is able to detect bacteria in fluid samples in just half an hour, as opposed to four days.

Finally, our Islamabad ChallengeX winner aims to provide quality, affordable healthcare in its region. HealthOne opened a chain of primary care and diabetes management clinics in the urban areas of Pakistan.

Danica Smithwick

As a member of 1776’s editorial team, Danica Smithwick spends her time telling stories and communicating with others. She is a Union University and Washington Journalism Center student who loves…