In 2017, the Hartford InsurTech Hub was established by CTNext, and the city of Hartford and some forward-thinking insurers including Aetna, Cigna, The Hartford, Travelers, USAA, White Mountains to name but a few, supported the initiative.
Sabine as a well-respected thought leader facilitated the initiative and recruited a great team of talent, many still appear on the initiative site.
In total, 31 startups took part in the accelerator. Many of them have done great things which we look forward to sharing with you when we gain a better understanding of how the pandemic affected this great talent pool in future articles.
During the program, many companies had the potential to shake up the insurance industry with their thinking, emerging digital technologies and unique business models.
The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare many of the problems within the HealthTech space for instance. Over 40,000 ventures have tagged themselves as Covid-19 saviors and funding for this specific space is estimated at $170Bn and is one of the few segments which is receiving investor funding this year.
That’s why we have decided to run through the four health-oriented ventures that participated in the latest program as a reminder of their great work!
From their own experience caring for elderly relatives, the team behind Livindi realized that there is a market gap for technologies that help aging-in-place seniors to stay independent and connected to members of their family and friends. To rectify this, they created Livindi, an in-home care platform designed to help insurers and caregivers provide services while maintaining enough oversight to ensure that their clients are safe and comfortable.
Senior isolation, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, puts excessive stress on caregivers, diminishes senior health, and drives up insurance costs. The Livindi platform is a comprehensive system of software, hardware, and services aimed at reducing social isolation and improving care for vulnerable people.
At the core of this platform is what’s known as the LivindiPad, a tablet-like device that can be used to easily start video calls with family members. Meanwhile, LivinidiSense pads are attached to the walls of a senior residence and monitor eating, bathroom, and other important patterns. Machine learning algorithms evaluate this data and, if a problem such as a potential fall is detected, an alert is pushed to caregivers using the LividiniPad app.
But Livindi doesn’t stop there. Seniors can also opt for wearable biometric trackers, which track vital signs, while insurers can aggregate Livindi data from all their clients in one place, so they know exactly who needs to be checked in on.
Research has shown that 86% of consumers prefer at-home tests to traditional lab health exams, but current at-home test services don’t integrate with existing lab testing players. This means that many providers are losing patients and customers.
UDoTest is a B2B health startup that aims to solve all of that. This company helps labs and health organizations create personalized at-home testing services for customers. On behalf of lab owners, the UDoTest team designs and customizes consumer-facing testing packages that are based on approved collection devices.
It’s obvious that UDoTest has a huge room for growth. With a target market estimated at $3 billion and a SaaS plan for health organization clients, UDoTest has a potentially revolutionary business model. UDoTest is the first B2B at-home testing platform and has already partnered with the US’s largest testing laboratory plus four others abroad.
Wysa promises to revolutionize the way that mental health support works over the internet. In this time of isolation, Wysa offers clinically assured assistance through an app that acts as a mental health portal, giving users access to three key support services.
First off, Wysa’s AI chat system can respond to anonymous messages from users in an empathetic manner, fulfilling the role of the “4 am friend” who is relied upon when nobody else is available. To ensure that users can completely trust the platform, Wysa is fully anonymous and runs no user data collection systems.
Another core part of the Wysa app is a digital self-help library, where guides on meditation, breathing techniques, and other wellness advice can be found. Lastly, is a Coach Support area in which users can get involved in sessions run by a professional and create journal entries.
Since its launch, Wysa has been rated as one of the top global mental health app by Google and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). Its effectiveness and user-friendliness have been scientifically proven in comparative studies from the Journal of Medical Interest Research and Oxford University.
Equally impressive are Wysa’s growth statistics. Over the last four years, Wysa has expanded its user base to 2 million users spread over 30 countries. These stats show the inherent scalability of the platform as the current 30-person team is able to support those 2 million users. The team recently raised $4 million.
This startup promises to create dramatic patient safety improvements when it comes to dispensing prescription medicines.
Dr. John Hsu was a practicing physician for 28 years before stepping away from his practice to design the iPill. He made this difficult decision because he recognized the problems presented by today’s child-resistant medicine bottle caps. These are problematic because once opened, anyone can access controlled prescription opioid medications.
In response, Dr. Hsu created iPill which consists of the iPill App and the physical iPill dispenser. These are linked by a wireless Bluetooth connection and are designed to reduce inappropriate opioid use. The iPill app controls the dispenser, only allowing it to release an appropriate dose to the prescribed patient, and no one else.
The key innovation of the iPill dispenser is its patented drug destroying technology. After 90 days, or if tampering occurs, unused opioids are automatically destroyed by the device.
But that’s not all. The iPill app can also be linked to a respiratory biosensor worn on a patient’s chest. If the patient stops breathing, the app will automatically call 911. Also, because mental health is an often-overlooked element of opioid abuse treatment, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) treatments are linked to by the app when the dispenser is not scheduled to release an opioid.
Keep an open mind when considering the potential of these four ground-breaking ventures and their impact on larger ecosystems
As of 24 November 2020, over 12,000 HealthTech ventures have received over $163Bn in funding. These will not only include unicorns Bright Health, Oscar or WeDoctor but also Peleton, Jawbone and 23andme.
Understanding what matters for consumers will be so important to build the unique ecosystems of tomorrow. We have seen great work done by Prudential. But who else?
Health is, of course, an important sector for insurers, and these four young ventures promise to revolutionize the way we think about it with new health technologies and insurer business models. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that each startup above could also be open to exploring business models and collaborating with sectors adjacent to ours. And this is key.
So, which of these health-focused startups was your favorite?
Do let us know.