CincyTech Portfolio Companies Share Insights During ‘Health Tech Day’ Event
The following is a summary of panels during the recent CincyTech-sponsored Health Tech Day as part of Start-Up Cincy Week featuring CincyTech portfolio companies and Miami University students.
Enable Injections: An alternative to clinical IV application
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we interact with health care providers: fewer personal doctor’s appointments, an increase in telemedicine visits and limited hospital space.
To be sure, no one could have predicted a global pandemic 10 years after Enable Injections was founded in Cincinnati by CEO Mike Hooven. But today the existence of COVID-19 has made the technology that drives Enable Injections even more crucial for patients and providers.
Enable Injections is an alternative to traditional IV infusions that take place in infusion centers, now allowing patients to self administer large volumes of high viscosity drugs at home.
The secret sauce that drives Enable Injections is enFuse Delivery and Smart enFuse. These two products create a remote, non-clinical infusion environment with real-time monitoring for patients and health care workers.
With three completed three successful clinical trials with five products and two major pharma partners, it has been shown to increase patient compliance, increase patient freedom, reduce adverse events and save patients up to $2,000 monthly, Hooven said.
Emergence of Digital Health Companies: Clarigent Health and Hive Networks
Don Wright, CEO of Clarigent Health, and Scott Roth, CEO of Hive Networks, provided an inside look into developing a digital health company. Wright and Roth dove into their digital health companies how their companies started, the problems they solve, and their pathways to success.
Hive Networks was recently honored by Tech Ohio for “Best Start-up Culture.” Roth explained Hive Networks as a centralized platform centered around chronic diseases that brings together a learning network of (1) patients and their families, (2) clinicians, and (3) researchers. This creates a level playing field and allows all three parties to collaborate and improve the quality of life and care for patients with chronic conditions.
Hive Networks has one goal in mind: improving patients lives with chronic diseases. When asked about the definition of success for Hive Networks, Roth said it’s “spinning thousands upon thousands of these network communities for different rare and chronic diseases to help speed up innovation.”.
On the other hand, Clarigent Health noticed that those who struggled with mental health received diagnoses too late. Over 15 years of research ultimately led to Clarity. Clarity uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to listen to biomarkers in patients voices during conversations with their therapists. This technology helps mental health professionals deduce if a patient is suicidal or has unhealthy levels of depression and anxiety.
Wright described Clarigent Health’s mission for Clarity as: to see not only widespread use of their technology, but to make a difference in patients’ lives.
Building a better app: Miami University students seek to improve user experience
CincyTech believes in investing in local students through engagement. Artie Kuhn, a faculty member in the Emerging Technology of Business and Design department at Miami University, can attest to that.
Over the course of a semester, students in Kuhn’s intermediate design class responded to a CincyTech challenge: Design a better health app.
Students learned valuable insights through conducting ethnographic research, researching similar health related apps, and applying user needs.
A common insight students discovered was to help users form habits through notification features.
One student found a new approach to change users’ perspectives as it relates to screen-time usage. Notifications that shame users for the amount of screen time used was less effective than encouraging users for when they aren’t using their phone.
Another student who created an app to help people diagnosed with Type I Diabetes found that users became distracted by the overwhelming amount of data shown. From this insight, the student was able to create an app that only showed essential data in a way that was digestible and appealing.
Kuhn said, “A lot of the things they came up with already existed in the marketplace, it was just that users didn’t engage with it properly.”
From her basement, ‘infertile scientist’ starts Proov to address ovulation timing
Amy Beckley, founder and CEO of Proov, calls herself the infertile scientist. As an infertile woman, she decided to use her Ph.D. in pharmacology to start Proov in her basement to help combat infertility issues. Proov allows women to check their hormone levels at home and confirm ovulation. Today, consumers can purchase Proov at Amazon.com, at Target and on the company’s website.
Beckley twice underwent her only option to become fertile: In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) which costs around $10,000 per procedure. After successfully having one child and deciding she wanted another, Beckley began to wonder if there was an alternative to in-vitro fertilization.
Through collaboration with doctors, she discovered that she was able to conceive naturally by replacing the hormones her body wasn’t making. It cost a dramatically lower price to purchase the hormones from pharmaceutical companies, around $100.
Proov quickly became fully funded after generating over $100,000 in revenue. Beckley went on to be backed by Hillman Accelerator, (supported by CincyTech) which serves underrepresented tech start-ups, after meeting Hillman Founder Candice Brackeen in San Francisco.
Beckley defines the success of Proov not only as helping women get pregnant but also helping menopausal women discover possible hormone imbalances.
CincyTech intern MiKenzie Trout is a student at Miami University majoring in Emerging Technology in Business and Design.