The clinical software vendor Athenahealth has admitted three new digital health companies to its More Disruption Please (MDP) accelerator program: Hale Health, Lifesquare, and PatientPop.

Athenahealth said its incubator’s mission is “disrupting the status quo in health care by delivering access and connectivity to innovative solutions,” according to a statement. And the three new companies fit that description in one way or another.

  • Hale Health offers an app that lets caregivers and patients stay in touch and share information. The app uses a social networking-style news feed design to keep track of conversations.
  • Lifesquare provides a way for consumers to imprint their health data in a QR code, which can be shared with care providers when needed. For instance, an emergency worker might be able to get information about a patient’s preexisting conditions, medications, and allergies by scanning the Lifesquare sticker in the person’s wallet.
  • PatientPop is a web-based set of marketing tools for medical practices. It includes tools for patient acquisition, retention marketing, reputation management, and analytics, all of which can be monitored and managed via a web dashboard.

Aside from funding, the startups will get free office space at Athenahealth’s offices in Boston, San Francisco, and Austin, Texas. They also get access to Athenahealth’s network of doctor customers for guidance on clinical issues. Athenahealth’s own lawyers might provide guidance on regulatory and compliance issues.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 1.07.43 PMMandira Singh, who leads the accelerator program, told VentureBeat that the accelerator doesn’t look for an immediate return on investment from the startups in the program. She explains that accelerator startups typically begin by getting integrated into Athenahealth’s clinical tools (like the electronic health record, or EHR) to add functionality such as paper chart digitization or patient intake documentation.

The startups’ products are also included in the Athenahealth Marketplace, where all Athenahealth customers can access them to improve some element of their practice.

“We’re focused on getting them to market after we get them their first few customers on the Marketplace,” Singh said.

Athenahealth’s accelerator accepts applications from startups on a rolling basis, with an expected residency period of eight to 12 months for each portfolio company.

The amount of funding provided to startups varies from startup to startup, depending on their needs, Singh said.

Athenahealth uses a cloud-based approach to delivering EHR systems as well as revenue cycle management and medical billing, patient engagement, care coordination, and population health management systems. It also offers the Epocrates mobile health tool set for doctors, which it acquired in 2013.

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