The depth and range of digital health needs is the driving force to find new ways to attract and support startups. Mass Digital Health is a business development supercluster of roughly 350 digital health companies, hospitals, medical centers, and research institutions centered in Massachusetts. Mass Digital Health conducts a variety of programs to support digital health entrepreneurs including funding, partnering, incubator centers, and challenge programs that identify and nurture potential healthcare solutions. Mass Digital Health recently announced eight finalists in its COVID-19 Recovery Challenge 2, Innovations to Support Healthcare Providers.

The COVID-19 Recovery Challenge has two parts. Challenge 1, Innovations to Support Caregivers, culminated in the December 8, 2021 announcement that Kinto was the grand prize winner. Kinto is a virtual coaching platform that supports caregivers. In addition to support from other Mass Digital Health organization, Kinto received a $100,000 grant to develop the caregiver platform for state Medicaid and non-dementia caregivers.

During the 10-week accelerator program in Challenge 2, the newly-announced finalists will work with Mass Digital Health members to design six-month testing and validation projects. The finalist group includes startups working on EHR user interfaces, telemedicine for burn units, a telehealth operating system, an outcome referral system, a virtual reality therapeutic platform to reduce healthcare provider burnout, and a physician-only online platform. Two additional finalists, EmPowerYu and One Therapeutics are most aligned with our editorial focus.

EmPowerYu Is a passive remote patient monitoring technology for non-techy people with chronic diseases. The program employs brand name smart home sensors to monitor and report medically relevant information to clinical care teams. The platform uses AI to analyze the data and to generate a mathematical profile based on the patient’s daily life and behavior. EmPowerYu alerts care teams when the device readings change significantly. This solution doesn’t rely on patients using smartphones or other technology or on self-reporting, which is a clear advantage for people who want to age at home.

One Therapeutic publishes Slumber One, an Apple iOS iPhone-only app for patients with insomnia. Slumber One is based on Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I). The 4-to-6-week program follows that gold standard insomnia treatment, according to One Therapeutics. The goal of the program is to help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.