Health

Rock Health’s new startups are tackling health care’s most ‘pressing problems’

rock health group

Digital health accelerator Rock Health has selected its fifth class of startups. Given the burgeoning interest in the space, the team says this was its most competitive application process yet.

The new class is highly diverse; the entrepreneurs believe they have new approaches to mental health, flu diagnosis, cancer management, and more. “We look for technology companies that are tackling the most pressing problems,” said Rock Health’s chief strategy officer Malay Gandhi, in a phone interview.

Some familiar names and faces have surfaced among the group. Augmedix, a clinical application for Google Glass, is still in the early stages of development, but caught our attention for its disruptive potential. Its founders see an opportunity to use Glass to augment the patient and physician experience.

Another startup SmartPatients, formed by Google Health Chief Roni Zeiger, is helping cancer patients connect with each other and learn more about their disease. SmartPatients demoed at VentureBeat’s HealthBeat conference.

The accelerator also announced some new corporate partners: Alexandria Real Estate Equities, a traditional life sciences venture firm, Boehringer Ingelheim, a pharma company, and Ogilvy Public Relations, a public relations agency. Rock Health says it’s corporate partners will offer tax deductible donations, mentorship and guidance to the teams.

Gandhi said the accelerator has benefited from the broad interest in digital health, particularly among traditional life science and bio-tech investors. “They are hungry for innovation,” he said, so plenty of dollars have been directed at digital health. The accelerator boasts a long-standing relationship with venture firm Kleiner Perkins.

Rock Health’s new class will be the first to enjoy a new space in Mission Bay, located a stone’s throw from UCSF’s new Center for Digital Health. Rock Health will also be welcoming local startups to use the coworking facilities, and office space.

Here’s the full list of startups in the fifth accelerator program. In their own words:

  • Amplify Health builds population management tools for at risk provider groups.

  • Anapsis is a research platform and marketplace for scientific and statistical computing.

  • Augmedix is a service for medical doctors that’s powered by Google Glass.

  • CancerIQ is harnessing big data to accelerate personalized cancer care.

  • CRIXlabs builds software for de-risking drug development.

  • Fluid helps people diagnose the flu in minutes, without the doctor’s visit.

  • Lift Labs makes active stabilization tools for people living with tremor.

  • Sensentia is developing a new breed of intelligent systems for healthcare administration and operation.

  • Smart Patients is an online community for motivated cancer patients and their caregivers.

  • Spire is a wearable sensor that tracks both physical and psychological fitness to lower stress and increase productivity.

  • ThriveOn delivers mobile mental health programs from screen to treatment customized for every individual.