Meet the 7 UCLA Health startups selected for its Health Equity Accelerator

As part of their work to advance healthcare innovation, some healthcare systems and technology companies are rolling out accelerator programs to give young startups the resources they need to develop healthcare products. digital. Recently, other accelerators specifically focused on health equity have emerged, such as the programs set up by Amazon, UCSF and Boston Medical Center.

Two weeks ago, UCLA Health announced the inaugural cohort of startups for its health equity accelerator, dubbed TechQuity Accelerator. The seven digital health startups, which represent pre-seed through Series A companies, are developing digital health solutions to address chronic disease management, respiratory disease and healthcare accessibility for vulnerable populations.

Recognizing that the pandemic has exacerbated health inequities among the country’s most vulnerable groups, UCLA Health has engaged with regional stakeholders spanning different industry sectors to identify four themes on which its accelerator should focus to improve the health security and resilience of Los Angeles residents: prevention, diagnosis, treatment and community impact.

These themes “are relevant across the entire healthcare delivery framework and represent opportunities to improve the value of patient care,” according to Jennifer McCaney, executive director of UCLA Biodesign, the university’s program and of the health system for business creation and leadership development.

Through TechQuity, startups can access UCLA Health’s clinical and public health experts, as well as network end users of more than 250 hospitals and clinics across the health system. Companies will also participate in a series of workshops and roundtables with experts in the field and receive direct product development support during the four-month program.

Often, accelerators take an equity stake in the startups they support in exchange for being selected to participate in the program. However, McCaney said that’s not the case with the UCLA accelerator.

Onike Williams, program director at UCLA Biodesign, added that guidance from community partners, such as community clinics and the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, is the cornerstone of the program.

“Most life science acceleration platforms focus on nurturing innovators within their cohorts, relative to the communities in which they operate,” she said. “Health equity spans the entire continuum of care, and technology intersects with the patient journey at many points. Too often, the sphere of innovation overshadows the communities that need it most.

UCLA launched TechQuity in partnership with BioscienceLA, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization focused on advancing innovation in the life sciences. McCaney said BioscienceLA ​​is “a natural partner” given its regional connectivity and its mission to catalyze the life sciences space through economic growth and workforce development.

Here are the seven startups selected to participate in TechQuity:

  • Aevice Technologieswho is developing an AI-based remote patient monitoring platform to identify digital acoustic biomarkers in chronic respiratory diseases
  • Amtron Medicala startup building a respiratory device to stop patients using ventilators
  • X-ray studythat creates a point-of-care Covid-19 test for low-resource settings
  • IHP therapya company developing home rescue therapy for sickle cell pain using a targeted glycobiology platform
  • ion cella startup creating a pandemic management platform to facilitate access to community health resources
  • Shared harvestwhich builds a mobile platform to provide vulnerable populations with telehealth, connection and rapid diagnosis services
  • Telebionixa company creating a patient data management system that can relay patient data to clinicians in real time

Photo: Rawpixel, Getty Images

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