Announcing the Partner Companies in the Inaugural SOLVE Accelerator for Health Equity
Last Tuesday, we held our first annual SOLVE Health Tech Summit with nearly 200 attendees representing 30 digital health companies, 25 venture capital funds, ten foundations, eight health systems, and five design agencies.
The audience gathered to hear our vision for a new public-private partnership at the intersection of digital health and health equity, and to see the six finalist companies pitch their concepts — — all of whom are raising the bar in engaging diverse end users and addressing health issues impacting vulnerable populations.
After a skilled round of judging, we are thrilled to announce that the three companies in our inaugural cycle of health equity acceleration will include:
AppliedVR: appliedVR is addressing the unmet needs of patients impacted by pain and the opioid epidemic. The company’s mission is to establish its virtual reality (VR) platform as the de facto standard for digital pain management and pioneer a new treatment paradigm for opioid sparing pain management across a diversity of populations in the hospital, clinic, and at home. They are actively partnering with leading institutions to study and optimize their virtual-reality-based therapies to bring meaningful improvements to Medicaid beneficiaries and patients who are challenged by negative social determinants of health.
InquisitHealth: InquisitHealth utilizes a trained, technology-enabled remote workforce of peer mentors to address social determinants and inspire behavior change to help health plans and hospital systems sustainably improve clinical outcomes. By replicating academic research in real-world situations to assist health care providers in achieving dramatically better, and sustainable, outcomes in a range of diverse communities, InquisitHealth has opened a new channel in the treatment of chronic diseases. InquisitHealth’s proactive approach enables it to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, “high risk”, and “hardly reached” patients in the country.
Mahmee: Mahmee is a comprehensive maternity care management platform that closes gaps in care for moms and babies nationwide. Insurance companies, integrated health systems, and physician’s groups rely on Mahmee to identify and manage high-risk moms and babies. Mahmee aggregates meaningful outpatient data; provides virtual curriculum and personalized support to parents on lactation, nutrition and mental health; and, escalates clinical concerns about patients to their physicians. They do this for both Medicaid-dependent and commercially-insured patients, serving both sides of the market.
The outstanding finalist pool was rounded out with:
Cell-Med: Cell-Ed’s healthcare arm, Cell-Med, is designed to reach the nearly nine out of 10 highest-need adults in the United States who lack basic, digital and health literacies needed to fully manage their health care and prevent disease. Cell-Med aims to use its proven, customizable messaging platform so that healthcare providers can finally reach Medicaid populations over any mobile device — even a flip phone without internet — to educate, learn from, nudge, and coach in order to increase care access, utilization and patient satisfaction rates while decreasing costs.
Healthvana: Healthvana is helping end HIV by helping clinics (their customers) manage and empower their patients. Their platform acts like a CRM for clinics with “high-value” patients — starting with HIV, where they are the leader in the U.S. with 250k patients across 16 states. Today, 40% of all patients with HIV are on Medicaid and those at risk of getting HIV are low-income and vulnerable populations.
Hoy Health: Hoy Health is an emerging health tech company that is transforming how primary care is delivered to underserved populations across the USA and Central America. They offer a comprehensive set of digitally accessible, bilingual, and culturally relevant cash-based healthcare access programs including affordable Rx drugs, chronic condition management, remote patient monitoring and telehealth/virtual care.
Amplifying the event, Dr. Robert M. Wachter shared an expert’s vision of the landscape for progressing health equity within the crowded space of digital health. Wachter, the event’s keynote speaker, is Professor and Chair of the UCSF Department of Medicine, a nationally recognized authority on the role of technology in healthcare, and authored the bestselling book, The Digital Doctor, in 2015. At the summit he led the audience through the digital transformation of medicine and its implications for equity and disparities. In order to prevent the widening of the digital divide, he argued that deep, cross-sector partnerships spanning Silicon Valley, hospitals, and physician offices are crucial. He shared his optimism that the services offered by SOLVE, such as tailored health content and pilot testing with underserved populations, will catalyze these partnerships and ultimately help allow technology to achieve its promise of improving health and healthcare value.
Overall, the engagement from the audience both during the event and over networking included strong optimism about the potential for digital health companies focused on the Medicaid market, excitement about the finalist companies and their future success, and commitment to improved collaboration across sectors to make impact in this space.
We will now embark on engaging with each partner company on a specific acceleration project over the next 12-18 months. We plan to do this by bridging our health communication, implementation, and evaluation expertise among diverse patient populations, with the companies’ abilities to iteratively tailor and market products and bring them to more customers at scale. We know that establishing an effective collaboration will require us to co-design with broader sets of patients, plan for implementation in real-world safety net healthcare settings, and generate evidence with inherent credibility among the Medicaid plans and payors.
But the work will not end with our acceleration cycle alone. We will also continue to communicate with all of you about our progress and our challenges, to expand our networks and align our visions in spreading digital health solutions for all.
We are incredibly grateful to all of you who attended and contributed in this event, and all of you supporting our work from afar. We look forward to hearing from you as we move forward.
Special thanks to: our Advisory Board (Veenu Aulakh, Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Dr. Molly Joel Coye, Dr. Ralph Gonzales, Ben Lenail, and John Noonan), the event committee (Dr. Robert M. Wachter, Mark H. Goldstein, Christina Murphy, David Steuer, John Noonan, Ben Lenail, Margaret Laws, Dr. Michael Penn, Dr. Priyanka Agarwal, Dr. Ajay Haryani), event staff (Anupama Cemballi, Gato Gourley, Jessica Fields, José Miramontes, Mekhala Hoskote, Natalie Rivadeneira, Roy Cherian), and to Josh Robinson Studio, Dr. Andrey Ostrovsky, Ara Martin, Christine Brocato, Dr. Shantanu Nundy, Dr. Neil Powe, the UCSF Health Hub, UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, UCSF Department of Medicine, Patchwise Labs, and our event sponsor, the California Healthcare Foundation Innovation Fund.