NYCEDC and HITLAB Announce Third Class of Digital Health Breakthrough Network


NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), in partnership with HITLAB, announced the third class of the Digital Health Breakthrough Network, an initiative for startups to pilot their products with end-users and strengthen their connection to New York City’s healthcare and technology sectors. The third class of startups are developing technologies such as virtual reality-based coaching platforms and scheduling coordination to streamline medical services, among others.

The Digital Health Breakthrough Network is part of a portfolio of initiatives launched by NYCEDC to support life sciences and healthcare ecosystems based in New York City. Selected startups in the program are able to pilot their previously lab tested technologies with clinical partners and patients around the City. The pilots are designed to efficiently provide startups with comprehensive data that will help them improve their products and pitches to investors.

The third class of startups include Altopax, a company that provides specialized virtual reality behavioral health teletherapy; Navimize, which uses innovative technology to streamline scheduling between various physician’s offices and hospitals; Tatch, which develops wireless biometric patches that diagnose sleep apnea and other chronic sleep disorders; and PainQx, a cloud-based software that measures bodily pain levels.

The Digital Health Breakthrough Network startup companies were announced in partnership with Health 2.0 at the NYC Digital Health Forum, a conference focused on digital health innovation in New York City. The half-day conference included remarks from industry leaders, followed by workshops focusing on topics such as the role of emerging technologies in healthcare and solutions for making digital health technologies patient-centered and equitable.

The conference also featured the Digital Health Marketplace, an NYCEDC program that provides curated matchmaking services to facilitate meaningful commercial partnerships between buyers and sellers of health technology. After forum, NYCEDC facilitated 65 matches between health tech companies and prospective clients. The program also provides competitive grants to offset the cost of piloting between growth-stage tech companies and hospitals, or healthcare providers based in New York City. The Digital Health Marketplace is part of Mayor de Blasio’s New York Works plan, which is made up of twenty-five initiatives to spur 100,000 jobs with good wages over the coming decade.

Building on the program’s success, the City will invest an additional $750,000 to support three years of expanded operations for the Marketplace. The added investment allows the Marketplace to increase the number of matchmaking events per year, which will expand access to these companies to their primary customer base. The expansion will create approximately 1,100 good-paying jobs over ten years.

“NYCEDC is focused on creating good-paying, accessible jobs in industries with the greatest potential for growth,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “That includes investing in digital health startups that will create jobs, solve global medical challenges and strengthen New York City’s position as a global hub for healthcare technology. Innovation is transforming the healthcare landscape and we’re proud to help NYC-based health tech startups continue to grow.”

“Over the past two cohorts of the Digital Health Breakthrough Network, we’ve seen the impact that early stage testing and user-facing research has had in helping young companies solidify their product design, processes and understanding of their value proposition. We are excited to begin work with our third cohort of startups and extend to them the opportunity to test their products in real-world settings around NYC,” said Laura Pugliese, Deputy Director, HITLAB.

Tatch feels privileged to join the next Digital Health Breakthrough Network class. We are excited for the opportunity to evaluate our technology on a larger scale and create new partnerships in NYC. The HITLAB and NYCEDC team have vast experience in testing and scaling innovative healthcare products, and we look forward to their support in accelerating our pilots,” said Amir Rueveny, Founder, Tatch, Digital Health Breakthrough Network Fall 2017 Class.

“Start-ups in the healthcare space face a unique set of challenges given all the regulatory complexities and long sales cycles in the industry. This program is doing some really important work by helping early stage companies test their products and by helping facilitate connections the local healthcare ecosystem. We’re really excited to build long-lasting relationships with key stakeholders in NYC’s very vibrant healthcare community and, together, build a product that enables accessible, high quality care,” said Narmeen Azad, Founder, Altopax, Digital Health Breakthrough Network Fall 2017 Class.

“Through the Digital Health Breakthrough Network, I was able to have my product tested in underserved communities among real patients and providers, gaining invaluable insights from community health centers, military families and other community-based institutions. The pilot study of TruCircle helped me validate assumptions I had made about the need and value of my product among real users, and gave me a roadmap for how to prioritize my future development and strategy,” said Lennie Carter, Founder, TruCircle, Digital Health Breakthrough Network Spring 2017 Class.

“Participation in the New York Economic Development Corporation’s Digital Health Marketplace has afforded TNJH the opportunity to see and pilot cutting edge healthcare technology and determine the value it could provide to our clients,” said Regina Melly, Senior Vice President of Business Development at The New Jewish Home. “In 2016, TNJH was one of the Digital Health Marketplace grant awardees. This NYCEDC grant allowed TNJH, together with Bluestream Health, an on-demand ecosystem which provides HIPAA-compliant video, audio, text and data connections, to bring bedside audio and video translation to our clients. Bluestream and TNJH are now discussing expanding their collaboration to service behavioral health clients. Additionally, TNJH is looking to implement a virtual Concierge solution from one of the technology startups we were matched with through the 2017 Digital Health Marketplace matchmaking session.”

Members of the fall 2017 Digital Health Breakthrough Network class:

Altopax provides virtual reality-based teletherapy, offering solutions that harness immersive technologies to address pressing concerns in the behavioral health space. The technologies allow for increased engagement, stronger support and wider accessibility to quality care.

Navimize is a digital health company aimed at improving the patient experience while increasing efficiencies. Navimize software utilizes proprietary technology that drastically reduces wait times and improves scheduling efficiency in physician’s offices and hospitals.

PainQx is a diagnostic software company that has developed a next generation approach to objectively measure pain in humans. The PainQx platform achieves this by assessing neural activity from a patient’s brain and processing and decoding the data through proprietary algorithms. The output is a scaled pain and neurological side effects biomarker that is directly correlated to a patient’s pain state.

Tatch is a state-of-the-art diagnostic and outcome management patch which provides high-quality sleep analysis in maximal comfort. Tatch brings together advances in printed electronics, machine learning and wearable technology to make sleep medicine more seamless and accurate than ever before.

The New York Works plan contains a number of initiatives that will combat economic inequality, grow the middle class and position NYC at the forefront of technological evolution. Two of the new health initiatives include:

  • Investing up to $5 million to support the Digital Health Breakthrough Lab initiative to offer digital health and health tech companies early testing opportunities in real world settings. The initiative will provide access to coworking space, meeting/event space, clinical space, and prototyping facilities, and create over 600 good-paying jobs over ten years.
  • Implementing a $500 million, ten-year plan to implement LifeSci NYC, an initiative that aims to foster the life sciences ecosystem in New York City. LifeSciNYC will create thousands of good-paying jobs and make New York City a global leader in life sciences research and development, and venture creation. The program will connect researchers with industry leaders, unlock space for companies to grow and employ New Yorkers, and build a talent pipeline that cultivates innovation and growth.