Innovation

TMCx Demo Day offers digital health solutions for urgent issues

Problem-solving platforms pitched by 19 companies


By Cindy George | June 6, 2019

TMCx Demo Day for digital health drew a standing-room-only crowd to the Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute on June 6, 2019 to hear presentations from the 19 companies in the TMCx08 cohort.

“Here at TMC Innovation, we offer a whole range of resources for our startups,” TMC Innovation Institute Director Tom Luby, Ph.D., said in his opening remarks. “From individuals to fully formed companies, we have something for you that can make a difference in the way that you view your success as a startup company.”

TMCx associate director Lance Black, M.D., noted that the eighth Demo Day featured companies from across the globe focused on solutions to some of the world’s most complex health problems.

“It is the Texas Medical Center’s mission to advance health care, research and education,” he said in welcoming the crowd. “It’s our mission as the Innovation Institute to bring value back to the med center through health care technology and, through X, we do that with startup companies.”

Demo Day capped a three-day “Innovation Week” partnership of programs between the TMC Innovation Institute and Silicon Valley-based investor and innovation platform Plug and Play Tech Center.

The only Houston-based company of the 19, PreOp MD, was presented by CEO and Founder Christiana Obi, O.D., a local contract anesthesiologist. The platform aims to avoid surgery cancellations and delays while decreasing escalating health care expenditures.

The cloud-based technology combines empirical and lab data as well as telemedicine and text messages to make sure everything need for surgery—from diagnostic reports and supples to nurses and the patient—are ready on time for procedures.

“Surgical delays and cancellations are the major causes of waste,” she told the crowd, naming prolonged operating room time, unplanned overtime costs and the unhappiness of all participants as consequences of late or scrubbed surgeries.

“I just want to simplify surgery and save time and save money,” she said after the presentation.

Obi said she realized the challenges of coordinating all the moving pieces of surgery after completing her residency, working at different Houston-area hospitals as an independent contractor and realizing the issue wasn’t an isolated problem.

“There are a bunch of surgeons from different facilities coming to this hospital, missing labs and a lot of things,” Obi said, adding that the platform also ensures that all patient registration forms are completed in advance.

Founded in February 2018, PreOp MD joined TMCx in February 2019 and has started its first pilot in Houston.

Roundtrip improves access to care by making it easier and cheaper for nurses and care coordinators to order rides for their patients. The platform found a solution to the one in five patients who miss or delay medical care because of transportation, account executive Jackson Steger said during his presentation.

The service was conceived by CEO Mark Switaj, a former EMT who saw patients frustrated with transportation challenges.

Roundtrip, which has a national partnership with the Lyft rideshare app, operates in more than a dozen states and is headed to Texas.

Transport misfires result in lost hospital revenue from patient absences while causing care coordinators to spend hours calling taxis and payers trying to make arrangements. Simply summoning a vehicle on a ride share app might not be the solution.

“It’s not always quite enough,” Steger said during his pitch. “It’s only a curb-to-curb service and there are many cases where it’s more appropriate to provide door-to-door or wheelchair or a trained driver in a medical sedan or even in an ambulance. … Also, not every patient can afford a Lyft ride, which is why we are actually able to have rides paid for by Medicaid, by insurance, by Medicare and we are able to get those prior authorizations so the … transportation company knows they’ll get paid.”

When a trip requestor needs to schedule a ride for a patient through the platform, the transportation marketplace of medical sedans, wheelchair vans, non-emergency ambulances and other vehicles—including Lyft—receives a ping.

“We have actually reduced that 20 percent no-show rate down to 2.7 percent,,” Steger said during his presentation.

Click here for an annotated list of the 19 companies in the TMCx08 digital health cohort.

TMC Innovation is also celebrating the news that several cohort companies closed fundraising rounds with more than $10 million raised between February and May. The list includes Roundtrip, which announced $5.1 million raised in April in a round led by Motley Fool. Meru Health, a digital clinic for mental health, which announced $4.2 million raised in April led by Freestyle Capital.  And Sani Nudge, a hand hygiene management system for care teams, announced $1.2 million raised in May by InQvate.




Social Posts

profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

Today's #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Dwright Fowler Davis, who is an advocate and entrepreneur. He served from 1998 to 2002: https://t.co/6tIlvbnFwb

33 mins ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

RT @bryanacotton1: Congratulations to our incoming #BigT #NoSONOS Trauma/SCC fellows to the Red Duke Trauma Institute @UTHealthACS @UTHealt…

53 mins ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

RT @UTHealth_SBMI: Grahame Grieve Named 2019 Glaser Award Recipient speaks about: "How we are at an exciting time in medicine, such as: Sci…

53 mins ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

RT @UTHealth_SBMI: Our special guests, faculty members and students join Dr. Susan Fenton as she speaks about some special informatics cour…

53 mins ago
profile_image

Texas Children's

@TexasChildrens

.@TexasChildrens Specialty Care Upper Kirby offers orthopedic care on Saturday mornings! The clinic will be open from 8 a.m. to noon to treat routine and urgent cases. Learn more: https://t.co/6J2vIai2Xb https://t.co/OKtasyK6oX

60 mins ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

RT @BCMHouston_News: #Harvey didn't just cause devastating flooding for #Houston, a new study lead by @bcmhouston's Dr. Kjersti Aagaard fou…

1 hour ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

Dr. Michelle Ludwig tackles the issue of the attrition of women in medicine in the latest @BCMEthics PolicyWise post. https://t.co/5uIg3M25oV #WomenInMedicine #ethics

1 hour ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

RT @TCHResearchNews: .@LabShulman @TexasChildrens, @bcmhouston @bcm_neurosci weighs in on new evidence that points to a problem in waste cl…

1 hour ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

“By women getting #mammograms from ages 40 to 74, they’re less likely to die from #breastcancer,” says our Dr. Therese Bevers: https://t.co/BNYEHFOitr @Forbes #endcancer

1 hour ago
profile_image

Harris Health System

@harrishealth

Today, October 18, is #NationalMammographyDay, remember to get screened! https://t.co/DVCYXYvD19

1 hour ago
profile_image

TexasHeartInstitute

@Texas_Heart

Get smart with Project Heart, a fun, heart healthy resource for K-6 teachers and students that includes elementary lesson plans, teacher worksheets and educational games. https://t.co/t1nosOoERw

2 hours ago
profile_image

University of Houston

@UHouston

RT @UHoustonLib: Go, 'Stros! #TakeItBackFrom the archives: this commemorative certificate was given out at the Astros vs. Yankees exhibi…

2 hours ago
profile_image

University of Houston

@UHouston

Rollin' into #CougarREDFriday with my red shirt and @astros hat like...#TakeItBack https://t.co/c0xtjyNg0w

2 hours ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

@nowell_erica Sending good vibes your way, Erica.

2 hours ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

VA Office of Rural Health expands research efforts https://t.co/Halm4BugRr via #VAntagePoint

2 hours ago