31 Jan Day 2- Fast, Faster, Fastest
Our second day on the Healthcare Disruption Tour, and our last in Boston. Needless to say, it snowed solidly through the morning, raising fears of being ‘snowed in’ the airport – but also showing us Boston how it is perhaps meant to be seen.
We spent the day at the amazing space of Pulse@Masschallenge, one of the most interesting accelerators in the entire healthcare space (in our opinion). They specialise in healthcare, and branched off from the main (industry-agnostic) Masschallenge two years ago, and they are now in their second cohort.
They were set up as part of the Massachussets Digital Health Initiative, sponsored by the Governer of Massachussets (Gov. Baker), and it really shows in the energy they have. They take companies which already have received some funding (usually Seed or Series A), and have a real focus on partnering – in fact, every company has to have at least one ‘anchor’ partner when they’re in the programme.
We heard from two of their most promising start-ups (and were actually very privileged to be the first group of people to engage directly with this cohort this cycle) – Pillo and Smartplate. Pillo produces a very easily recognised voice-recognition powered medication adherence tool, and Smartplate has a combined platform/hardware combination which helps people keep a handle on the size of portions they eat.
A lot of questions (back and forth) about them from us – they both have definite roadmaps to roll out fully fleshed offers (and already have some amazing numbers on uptake). Both offered really interesting views on what it is to be a startup – and how partnerships with larger incumbents can turbocharge their development.
What will happen in 2018… and beyond?
We also had a journalist in residence – the editor of Mobihealthnews. Reporting on the cutting edge of digital health (and doing it since 2007 or so), they have a really interesting view on where the industry will be going, what has worked, and what we can learn from this. Really insightful, with real industry experts.
Are you not… delighted?
Before we jumped to the airport, Koen Kas, CEO of Healthskouts and one of our tour guides, gave a deep dive into how the health system (or absence-of-wellness system) fails to deliver experiences which delight consumers. That the tools are available to make this happen does not help us – what we need is a recipe for what we really want. We will get there, but only by being aware of the underlying technologies and of how we can improve what we have.
From Boston Logan, we touched down in San Francisco – and are girding ourselves for the next three days of disruption on Californian soil!