Rock Health: Ideas We’d Like To Fund

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We want to solve the biggest problems in healthcare.

By Halle Tecco (Founder & CEO, Rock Health)

Applications for Rock Health’s fifth class are open!

You bring the startup and we’ll provide the funding ($100K), strategic partnerships, and operational support to help you succeed.

What do we look for? Big ideas backed by smart and driven entrepreneurs, with a sustainable and scalable business model.

Here are just a few ideas we’d like to see:

  • Chronic disease management - Chronic conditions account for 75% of health spending in the Unites States. Better managing this population, particularly those at the highest level of risk for hospitalization, is the single largest opportunity to bend the cost curve. Traditional disease management programs can stratify patients, but they are antiquated, labor-intensive and ultimately ineffective in engaging people in their health. We are looking for unique, multi-disciplinary teams that can help people make lifelong behavioral changes. Starting with protocols that have already been clinically-validated helps. Seriously, just ask our alums at Omada and Wellframe.
  • Big data management and analytics - Big data is not just an indie-electronic music band, it’s one of the themes we’re excited about. The opportunities here are everywhere, up and down the stack: integration, ETL (extract-transform-load), security, interoperability, sharing. And of course, analytics. We want to meet the team that is using new data sources—proliferating from EHRs, clinical and translational science awards, genomics, and many other places—to understand what is actually valuable in medicine and for whom.
  • Mega-platforms - Without platforms, healthcare will simply end up with pseudo-modernized, yet highly fragmented and siloed products. Platforms have driven innovation in other sectors of technology—think Windows, Facebook, iOS and Stripe. We need more platforms like Rock Health alumnus Eligible that make it unbelievably easy to transact with the healthcare system. We are looking for the entrepreneurs that want to put a platform on top of the 600 EHRs in the country so developers can build modules once and sell many times. We want a platform for sensors, to aggregate the data and make it meaningful for consumers and practitioners. We want a platform for digital health companies transforming care management in the preventive, acute, and chronic spaces to sell their clinically-validated outcomes to payers for distribution to consumers.
  • System navigation - It’s a cruel, cruel world, and the healthcare system is no exception. What technologies can help us better navigate this complex system? Think: concierge medicine, care packaging, information transparency and services, purchasing, and more.
  • HIPAA in a box - Regulations around data, security, and privacy are very different between healthcare and traditional consumer technology companies. We need a zero energy process for startups (and ultimately large organizations) to be compliant in a world that is quickly moving from behind-the-firewall, on-premises software to cloud- and SaaS-based models. HaaS (HIPAA-as-a-service) should be a comprehensive package: technology and process. We need it all: super secure cloud servers with the specified audit trails and access requirements along with the policies and procedures, training, and everything else necessary for companies to be 100% HIPAA-compliant. Make this simple and seamless for digital health companies, and we’ll introduce you to your first three customers. Promise.
  • Disruptive diagnostics - We love products that bring down the cost of diagnostics or monitoring—like Rock Health alum CellScope and Sano. What ideas do you have to leverage technology to stay healthy, manage disease, and help bring down healthcare costs? How can we use technology to reconfigure the care delivery stack (specialists, PCPs, nurse practitioners/physician assistants, nurses, caregivers/aides, consumers) through empowerment? We want technologies that make it incredibly safe and remarkably convenient for everyone in the stack to “play up”.
  • Transitional care, home health, and aging in place - We’d like to see the technology that makes the home the long-term care facility of the future. Homes can be significantly safer, higher quality and less costly than existing facilities. Do it for Grandma, she’ll be a lot happier and healthier at home.
  • The Brain Game - We’d love to see technologies that explore brain health like portfolio companies NeuroTrack and BrainBot. Think about ways technology can better diagnose psychiatric and neurological disease, facilitate treatment including psychological counseling, and monitor patient response to treatment.
  • Your Black Swan idea to bring technology to this balkanized, archaic industry.

We’re not looking for incremental ideas that simply apply modern technology to minor problems. This isn’t about apps, social networks, or the cloud. We want to solve the biggest problems in healthcare. We want ideas that can reduce system costs by 50%, eliminate medical errors (all of them), cure or prevent diseases, make everyone of us a doctor, cut the time it takes to bring a new therapy (digital or molecule) to market in half, and measure and report quality on a second-by-second basis. So if you’re crazy enough to try, we want to hear from you.

This post was originally posted at Rock Health’s blog. PHoto credit: Dennis Skley on Flickr.

About the guest blogger: Halle Tecco is the founder and Managing Director of Rock Health, the first seed-accelerator devoted exclusively to health apps. Halle recognized the need and potential for startups in the interactive health space while working at Apple’s App Store covering the health vertical. Her background expands both health and technology. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. Follow her on Twitter at @halletecco.