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Digital Health Workshop Leads to Partnerships for Cedars-Sinai

Three mHealth companies enrolled in the LA-based health system's recent accelerator are now launching new programs targeting post-acute care, VR therapy and online registration.

By Eric Wicklund

- Cedars-Sinai has launched partnerships with three mHealth companies, all graduates of the health system’s recent Techstars Healthcare Accelerator.

The Los Angeles-based health system is launching programs to help patients access post-acute care at home, take part in virtual reality-based therapeutic services and use an online platform to price and select sports medicine services.

In a partnership with AppliedVR, Cedars-Sinai will deploy the company’s Pain RelieVR product suite to patients in its spine center, orthopedic center and surgery department. Those patients will initially have access to Guided Relaxation, a VR game platform designed to divert the patient’s focus away from the medical environment.

"VR is entering an 'age of utilization' in healthcare, with hospitals and surgery centers seeking new ways to increase patient satisfaction, better manage pain and reduce hospital stays,” Matthew Stoudt, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said in a press release. “This does not require changing the face of healthcare, it merely requires AppliedVR's SaaS model for validated therapeutic VR content, to provide standardized and scalable technology that improves a patient's experience.”

Cedars-Sinai is also launching Safe Transition Home, a program developed by Santa Monica-based HomeHero that combines company-employed caregivers with a mobile app developed on Apple’s CareKit platform to ease the transition for patients from hospital to home. The program fits into the health system’s bundled payment strategy for value-based care to reduce hospital readmissions.

“The first six weeks of our time at Cedars-Sinai has been spent learning about the deep inner-workings of hospitals and identifying the biggest areas of need,” Kyle Hill, co-founder and CEO of HomeHero, said of the company’s participation in the accelerator program. “We felt Safe Transition Home was the best program to build first due to its low cost and risk, broad impact across multiple units and speed to implement.”

Finally, Cedars-Sinai is partnering with Los Angeles-based ZendyHealth to launch a “Pick Your Price” platform for the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic, offering sports medicine services such as rotator cuff repair, shoulder decompression and stem cell injections. Through the platform, patients will be matched with a clinician who can arrange treatment and payment plans.

The three companies were among 11 to take part in the first Techstars Healthcare Accelerator at Cedars-Sinai, a three-month program housed in a high-tech workshop across the street that concluded with a June 23 ‘Demo Day.’ Omkar Kulkarni, who directed the program for Cedars-Sinai, said in an earlier interview that the health system was specifically looking for established companies that could address digital health pain points.  

“There are a lot of fresh ideas and fresh perspectives,” he said. “We’re looking at innovative ways to doing things that have been done the same way for the past 100 years.”

Cedars-Sinai joins a growing number of health systems who are partnering with the business world to foster digital health innovations in-house. Just last month, the Texas Medical Center opened its new AT&T Foundry for Connected Health in Houston.

“Focused on the management and analysis of patient data - be it genomic, diagnostic, phenotypic, environmental or anything in between - digital health care solutions hold the key to future groundbreaking therapies, disease management protocols, personalized medicine approaches and advances in global population health,” TMC President and CEO Robert C. Robbins, MD, said in a recent letter.  “Even more, harnessing these applications for prevention and behavioral modification measures could mean a future with less chronic illness overall.

“Through aggregated electronic medical records, wearables such as activity trackers and smart watches, and a host of other devices embedded with data collection technology, physicians have access to more information than ever before,” he added. “The key is creating a system for the appropriate and strategic management of this data so that it can be analyzed in a meaningful way, helping providers make decisions with patients about personal health plans and giving scientists and researchers the tools for new insights and discoveries.”

Dig Deeper:

Digital Health Innovation Finds a Home at Cedars-Sinai

Digital Health Gets a Failing Grade in Chronic Care Management


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