N.Y. incubator Startup Health adds 16 companies

The New York-based incubator StartUp Health admitted 16 new companies to its current class, the company announced this week. The incubator runs a three-year program that helps healthcare startups develop their products and raise venture capital.

The program saw about 350 applicants for the current round, said Unity Stoakes, Startup Health's founder.

"We're seeing an influx of talent that is coming into health care," Stoakes said. "There's a new wave of entrepreneurs and what we call doctorpreneurs—practicing physicians who are building startups." Some 46% of StartUp Health's companies have a doctor involved, he said.

Wellthie, one of the new admits, creates premium calculators for health insurance companies. Insurance sellers use the calculators to show potential clients how much they would pay for different products, accounting for government subsidies. It's a slicker version of the premium estimator found on the state's insurance marketplace.

"Insurance companies think of this as a great way to educate the person, but also to cut out the extra information that they think is not important," said founder Sally Poblete. Poblete, a former WellPoint vice president, has signed three New York clients so far: EmblemHealth, Fidelis and a third insurer whom she declined to identify.

Wellthie saw some 200,000 uses during the enrollment period that ended on March 31, Poblete said, more than 20% of the 900,000 who signed up for health insurance through the marketplace. She hopes to use the StartUp Health program to raise seed funding and expand Wellthie to other states.

Three more startups in the current class are based in New York. Mobile Health One provides a secure way for doctors to video chat with their colleagues through MDChat, an app for Android and iPhone. LifeDojo focuses on employee wellness, with apps that can help participants make a series of behavior changes. Punctil makes it easier for providers to charge patients for missed appointments.

Two more companies are nearby. Inbox Health, based in Bridgeport, Conn., aims to simplify patient billing. Englewood, N.J.-based Hindsait draws in data from provider systems to return patient insights.

The current class brings StartUp Health’s portfolio of companies to 63; they have collectively raised $130 million and three have been acquired.

"StartUp Health adds 16 companies" originally appeared in Crain's New York Business.



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