Access to healthcare and the quality of care is a hot topic in Washington these days, but key players in the tech space have been working on these issues for decades. Chicago is a nerve center for health tech and we've rounded up 21 startups and tech companies working on everything from helping hospitals reduce infections to making office dwellers healthier while sitting at their desks.
What they do: Payformance Solutions, an Altarum Company, is changing the way health care is paid for. Their platform, TrustHub, offers transparent solutions to payers and providers for negotiating reimbursement contracts.
How they're changing healthcare: Payformance is working to alter the way we pay for health care from quantitative to qualitative, resulting in better health outcomes at lower costs.
What they do: GoHealth's platform is a beacon in the often confusing and complicated world of health insurance. Not just for consumers, the company offers solutions for every player in the industry, including carriers and insurance agents.
How they're changing healthcare: GoHealth has helped over 2 million users find the right coverage while providing the information and insight needed to fully understand their plans.
What they do: Higi is a health station that lets users track their health. Going beyond steps and heart rate, the Higi informs on a variety of health factors like Body Mass Index, pulse, weight, blood pressure and body fat percentages.
How they're changing healthcare: Higi station checks paint a full portrait of a user’s health, and its mobile app lets them monitor progress from anywhere at anytime. Higi also has a built-in community where users can find friends to follow and groups to join for that extra bit of support.
How they're changing healthcare: The platform’s three solutions, IntelligencePRO, EvaluationPRO and PipelinePRO, mine data and use clinical evidence to rid providers of wasteful spending, ultimately lowering costs for patients and improving overall care.
What they do: SwipeSense has created a hand hygiene monitoring system for hospitals and healthcare facilities. The technology uses cloud sensors and hygienic dispensary devices to record staff usage, helping hospitals track hand hygiene rates and reduce the need for manual observation.
How they're changing healthcare: Approximately 1.7 million hospitals in the U.S. experience infection outbreaks each year. With an average cost of $15,000 per infection, SwipeSense is working to reduce a costly and dangerous problem in the healthcare space.
What they do: Tempus is creating the largest library of clinical and molecular data in the world. The goal is to ultimately bring cancer treatment into the 21st century with data-driven insights physicians can use to make more effective and personalized treatment decisions.
How they're changing healthcare: Tempus is working to make each patient experience better than the last and have partnered with a swath of prominent institutions like Mayo Clinic, Northwestern Medicine and Rush University Medical Center.
What they do: Veritas Health produces original peer-reviewed articles written by physicians to boost patient education on chronic pain and musculoskeletal conditions.
How they're changing healthcare: With over six million monthly patient visits, Veritas has four websites featuring educational content covering health topics relating to sports, osteoporosis, the spine and arthritis.
What they do: Cubii is an ergonomic elliptical device designed to keep people sitting for long periods of time active. Cubii is smaller than other under-desk fitness devices and can be used in most spaces, eliminating banged-up knees and the need to rearrange furniture.
How they're changing healthcare: Since the phrase, “sitting is the new smoking” gained traction, office dwellers are looking for new ways to workout. Cubii's portable device offers a healthier version of sitting that can be used anywhere.
What they do: Evive creates customized tools to help users stay on top of their health needs. The technology analyzes and translates data points into suggestions like an alert for a user with seasonal allergies during a high pollen streak, or a recommendation to schedule an annual screening.
How they're changing healthcare: Evive is a big-data-meets-behavior solution, giving people the ability to make better preventative health decisions that ultimately result in millions of dollars in cost savings.
What they do: VillageMD is creating a new clinical model for primary care physicians. The model improves both patient care and economic performance of practices through data analytics, support services and physician-based care coordination.
How they're changing healthcare: The VillageMD model works in a local, personalized setting and is unique to each practice, customized to the physicians and patients within the market.
What they do: Opternative uses an online vision test and a subsequent review by an optometrist to provide quick, office-free vision prescriptions.
How they're changing healthcare: The service lets users manage their vision prescription needs from home, which is especially convenient when patients find they've run out of contact lenses or need a pair of new glasses in a hurry.
What they do: Outcome Health uses technology to create informational platforms for physicians and patients. Working to improve health decisions and patient experience, the healthtech company's interactive tablets, anatomy boards and mobile connectivity solutions are in consultation rooms across the country.
How they're changing healthcare: Outcome has a vast network, with a presence in over 20 percent of physician offices in the U.S. with an eye for expanding that number to 70 percent by 2020.
What they do: Emmi helps patients take a more active role in the management of their own healthcare with easy-to-use platforms that address everything from surgical preparation to screening reminders.
How they're changing healthcare: Emmi's software combines simple, conversational language and multimedia to reach patients beyond the doctor's office, keeping them more informed and engaged throughout the entire care cycle.
Funding: Acquired by Wolters Kluwer in 2016.
What they do: Analyte Health helps patients consume and understand diagnostic information. The company provides on-demand access to physicians and same-day lab appointments that are usually delivered within three days.
How they're changing healthcare: Analyte has provided over 2.2 million lab results safely and cost effectively to patients while simultaneously shortening the turnaround of test results.
What they do: Caremerge closes the gap in communication between people in nursing facilities and their loved ones. The company's dashboards provide complete integration of cross-platform information for both care providers and family members.
How they're changing healthcare: Caremerge helps family members see what their loved ones are doing throughout the day, giving them peace of mind while giving providers an easy system for patient care management.
What they do: First Stop is a telehealth service providing 24/7 access to physicians, health information and advocacy services.
How they're changing healthcare: First Stop is the answer to urgent medical needs when the doctor’s office is closed and the condition doesn’t warrant a trip to the emergency room.
What they do: Human Practice is the creator of Preferral, a mobile referral platform used by physicians to find the right specialists for their patients.
How they're changing healthcare: Many physicians are limited in their referral capabilities. Human Practice’s solutions provide a broader network of colleagues to refer through, expanding and improving patient care.
What they do: PreparedHealth creates software that makes it easier to deliver home care.
How they're changing healthcare: Prepared’s platform enables smooth facility-to-home transitions, stronger communication, real-time updates and services ranging from meal delivery to home-based caregivers.
What they do: Texture Health creates healthcare solutions to connect the entire care system from patients to providers.
How they're changing healthcare: Texture enables every player in the health care system to connect, communicate and collaborate with one another effectively.
What they do: Triggr Health has created a predictive tool for addiction recovery, offering 24/7 support for users in their moments of need.
How they're changing healthcare: Using phone sensors and data, Triggr can detect potentially regressive behavior up to three days prior with 92 percent accuracy. This lets professional advocates intervene before it is too late.
What they do: Upfront Health is creating a more efficient system to handle large volumes of in-office patient visits.
How they're changing healthcare: Upfront’s program evaluates each visit at a practice, analyzing schedules and logistics to determine the best actions for avoiding wasted or unnecessary appointments, incomplete tests and no-shows.