From AI to gaming technology, here's how 6 Chicago companies are changing healthcare

by Andreas Rekdal
May 5, 2017

Home to the American Medical Association and one of the country’s fastest-growing healthcare innovation hubs, Chicago has no shortage of exciting healthtech companies. But the sheer variety of approaches Chicago tech companies are taking to solve challenges in the healthcare industry is just as exciting as the growth of the sector itself. Here’s how a few of them are making healthcare better.


Leveraging data to help users lead healthier lives

Perhaps best known for its health stations in retail locations across the country, higi is a health technology company that provides consumers with insight into how they’re progressing toward their health goals. To do so, higi draws on user health data from its kiosks as well as from a number of wearables and apps. Having recently received a strategic investment from BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, the company is currently in the process of moving into the employee wellness segment as well.


Providing patients with context to understand their conditions

Veritas Health publishes physician-authored and peer-reviewed content for people with musculoskeletal conditions and chronic pain. With dedicated sites for sports injuries, arthritis, back pain and osteoporosis, Veritas helps patients understand their conditions and how they can be treated.


Aiding addiction recovery with advanced analytics

Addiction recovery is a long and involved process that can be complicated by a large number of outside factors. Drawing on smartphone data, Triggr Health uses predictive analytics to pick up on when the user is at risk of engaging in regressive behavior, giving professional coaches a chance to intervene before it’s too late. According to the company, early results show that its algorithms can predict regressive behaviors with 92 percent accuracy three days in advance, based on factors like changes in patterns of calls, texting, location and sleep.


Training surgeons with gaming technology

“We’re not saving lives here” is a great go-to consolation when things aren’t going your way at work. But for surgeons, it’s crucial that the job gets done right every single time. Level EX is a Chicago-based startup that uses gaming technology to let doctors practice procedures on their smartphones. Working with expert surgeons, the company’s developers, designers and artists are developing realistic, interactive procedure simulators that help doctors understand what to expect when they’re doing the real thing.


Making health data accessible with AI-powered search

A machine learning startup that got its start in finance analytics, Semantify has expanded its platform for applications in the healthcare industry as well. The company’s semantic search platform, designed specifically for use with unstructured data, allows pharmaceutical industry researchers to sort through existing research more effectively. It also lets healthcare providers and other stakeholders analyze health data from a variety of disjointed sources, helping them assess and improve patient care.


Exploring hereditary health risks with family trees

Understanding your family’s health history can provide important clues about your own health risks. TapGenes provides users with a secure tool for collaborating with their families to build comprehensive health trees. Its app also gives users individualized advice about preventive steps they can take to mitigate the health risks that run in their families.


Images via listed companies and Shutterstock.

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