The intersection of health and technology is a challenging and rewarding place to start a business. In Austin, it's a busy intersection indeed.
Intrepid healthtech startups have been among the city's most high-profile innovators and most successful fundraisers, leveraging world-class learning institutions, bustling hospitals, and a highly collaborative tech circuit.
Austin Healthcare Companies to Know
- Bright Health
- Iodine Software
- Digital Pharmacist
Here are 28 companies working across various areas of healthcare and pointing the way toward a more efficient healthcare system. Some are hiring, some have received impressive funding, and all are making their mark on the city and the world.
What they do: Ascension is a not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare organization that delivers care and resources to vulnerable populations.
How it’s changing healthcare: With a focus on underprivileged and underserved groups, Ascension Health aims to support every patient throughout their healthcare journeys. The company has adopted cutting edge healthtech and now offers virtual visits, streamlined digital paperwork and online bill payment systems to help smoothen the process of receiving care.
What they do: Bright Health offers a wide variety of individual, family and Medicare insurance plans that are designed to fit the specific needs of most situations.
How it's changing healthcare: Bright Health provides health insurance products, plans and services directly to consumers through broker partners. Those insured by the company are able to access a wide variety of healthcare professionals, specialists and pharmacies that all help to provide individualized treatment options.
What they do: Clinical documentation at hospitals isn’t always accurate. Fortunately, Iodine Software launched in 2010 to change that. The healthtech startup leverages machine learning analytics to interpret clinical data and ensure its validity.
What they do: Medici’s set on fundamentally changing the way we access healthcare through a mobile app that allows doctors to meet with their patients virtually. Their growing team is headquartered in Austin but includes employees on six continents.
What they do: ESO builds software for companies and practitioners across the healthcare spectrum, public and private, with a focus on patient records.
How it's changing healthtech: ESO's Health Data Exchange is the first interoperability product of its kind. When patients are hospitalized, it makes sure all the essential information is available and neatly organized, no matter what electronic health record systems the patient's previous providers have used.
What they do: Afoundria is a health information technology company with a mission to make transitions in and out of post-acute care facilities as smooth as possible.
How it's changing healthcare: Afoundria's electronic health record system makes life easier for providers but is designed with patients in mind. It prides itself not just on sleek UX, but on fostering communities around healthy decision making.
What they do: Athenahealth is a leading provider of cloud-based services for electronic health records (EHR), revenue cycle management and medical billing, patient engagement, care coordination, and population health management, as well as Epocrates and other point-of-care mobile apps.
How it's changing healthcare: The award-winning company (over 15 national recognitions within the last six years) continues to push innovation through their More Disruption Please (MDP) program, which hosts events bringing together fresh thinkers to create solutions that reduce the barrier to entries for companies in the health care space.
What they do: The home of the Longhorns has produced a unique startup with an educational, holistic approach to student athletes' performance and health.
How it's changing healthtech: What better place to test new ideas in behavioral health than in the heat of the court or the gridiron? Like a sharp and supportive assistant coach, Athlete Builder tracks performance, helps set goals, and assists in building positive team cultures. As technology-aided behavior modification grows in popularity, look for its concepts to eventually influence even those whose primary form of exercise is a daily walk to the mailbox.
What they do: Aunt Bertha is a social services search engine "connecting people and programs." Its powerful nationwide referral network covers the healthcare spectrum and also includes food, transit, baby supplies, and other essentials.
How it's changing healthtech: Aunt Bertha has turned a simple idea into one of the city's most inspiring startup successes. Doing good has treated Aunt Bertha well. In June 2016, it scored a $5 million vote of confidence for its mission to help those in need help themselves.
What they do: Cariloop provides an online hub for healthcare providers to connect with elderly patients and their caregivers, providing solid medical advice and social support.
How it's changing healthtech: According to the company's figures, 17 percent of the population currently cares for the elderly approximately 21 hours per week, weathering significant stress and expense. As the population ages and life expectancies increase, social networks such as Cariloop will grow more essential.
What they do: Chiron Health provides a unique telemedicine platform primarily concerned with continuing outpatient care, regulatory compliance, and reimbursement.
How it's changing healthcare: Among other things, telemedicine means connecting the devices that healthcare providers already use and slicing through regulatory hassles to make this sort of tech-savvy practice more cost-effective for patients in the direst need. The telemedicine business is booming — at the end of 2015, Chiron netted $2.3 million in funding for its future-focused work.
What they do: ClearDATA is a company dedicated to healthcare cloud computing and information security services for healthcare providers.
How it's changing healthcare: ClearDATA’s HIPAA-compliant cloud computing is designed for helping with compliance, IT and security services across the entire healthcare field. The company is trusted by over 350,000 healthcare professionals to safely guard patient data and power medical applications.
What they do: Founded by Kristin Karchmer, who draws on experience treating 7,000 infertile couples, Conceivable builds a cutting-edge fertility program that is integrated, personally tailored, and supportive throughout a difficult process.
How it's changing healthtech: Fertility treatments are one of the biggest games in healthcare. Progress has been made, but many couples still struggle to conceive. Conceivable distinguishes itself by treating users not as nameless customers in need of a wonder drug, but as individuals with particular reasons for not being able to get pregnant and particular needs as they get closer to doing so.
What they do: DaVincian is a mobile cloud analytics company crunching numbers and offering tech-savvy services to the global healthcare market. Products include robust workflow facilitators such as the Analytical Orchestrator, the Revenue Orchestrator, and the Mobile Patient Orchestrator.
How it's changing healthtech: DaVincian harnesses big data to help solve big problems, and it's kind of a big deal. In its first year, it garnered $50 million in funding, making it one of Austin's most inspiring and influential startup success stories of late.
What they do: This multifaceted healthtech startup connects patients with pharmacists, creates volumes of content around health topics, and has built a thriving community.
How it's changing healthcare: Digital Pharmacist is more than a collection of health-related articles and videos (all of which are heavily vetted by pharmacists, by the way). It also streamlines communication between pharmacies and customers, makeing it easier to get a refill, and even help figure out copays.
What they do: This firm connects patients with cutting-edge treatments and clinical trials using an impressive phalanx of data from physicians and electronic health records.
How it's changing healthtech: Patients can participate in preventative treatment options they don't know about. ePatientFinder scored an impressive $8.2 million Series B in June 2016.
What they do: Founded by three long-time denizens of the Austin tech startup world, eRelevance is an interactive marketing services provider with a strong background in healthcare.
How it's changing healthcare: One of eRelevance's most successful products is its progressive patient engagement service, a cloud-based CRM on caffeine that is particularly well loved in the medspa market.
What they do: EverlyWell provides convenient, at-home health tests with results you can actually understand. Users first order a test from their website that arrives to your doorstep in three business days, then they collect their sample in their home and send to one of the laboratories for analysis. Once a board-certified physician reviews it, the results are available online for viewing.
How it's changing healthtech: This non-traditional way of health testing has revolutionized public access to kits testing for cardiovascular issues, metabolism, inflammation, fertility, food sensitivity and more, while drastically cutting out-of-pockets costs with tests ranging from $59 to $399.
What they do: A hospitalist is a dedicated in-patient physician who works exclusively in a hospital or hospitals, and Hospitalists Now builds tech products for those in this hard-working, high-pressure sector.
How it's changing healthtech: The company's flagship product is HM VitalSigns, a technology suite that reports key performance indicators, helps cut costs, and strengthens revenue cycles. Hospitalists Now took on over $8 million in funding in 2015 and is expanding throughout the Southeast.
What they do: Lumeris is healthcare with an MBA and unstoppable IT. Since 2001, it has been one of the big names in value-based healthcare management systems, streamlining processes to cut costs and increase doctor and patient satisfaction. It offers workflows, technology tools, and consulting services.
How it's changing healthtech: In 2012, Lumeris established a technology innovation center in Austin to tap into the city's growing pool of tech talent. It continues to staff up, expand nationally, take home innovation awards.
What they do: Spurred by recent regulatory changes, NarrativeDx exists to make patient-satisfaction surveys more effective. Its approach considers not just the "what" but the "why," gathering narrative feedback to help flesh out hard, numerical scores.
How it's changing healthtech: A medical crisis is often a life-altering experience, not the sort of thing that can be easily ranked on a 1-10 scale or explained by pointing to a picture of a frowny face. After implementing its MVP at Austin's busiest hospital, NarrativeDx is gathering funding and planning to go nationwide on its mission to make patient feedback more useful for all.
What they do: Patient IO helps healthcare organizations transition into value-based care by helping them coordinate care between patient visits. Their partners include Aetna Health, Diplomat, Transcend Insights, and Arcadia Home Care and Staffing.
How it's changing healthtech: They are the first and only care coordination solution that can be integrated with virtually any healthcare software system, including EHRs and population health management programs.
What they do: Pristine's key product is EyeSight, a high-def video collaboration tool for doctors and hospitals that allows experts to work together and care for patients remotely.
How it's changing healthtech: Although Google Glass didn't quite catch fire with consumers, the enterprise applications for such technology are clear and myriad, particularly in healthcare. Geography still separates patients from the professionals who can best care for them. Wearables, video, and VR are bigger and bigger business. And Pristine's promise is obvious.
What they do: SocialCare by Health Symmetric established itself as a healthcare platform powered by open innovation and accelerated by data science.
How it's changing healthtech: Health Symmetric has created SocialCare, the first-ever Meaningful Use (Government Certified) Electronic Health Platform with social networking features which connect doctors, patients, care teams, pharmas, ancillary healthcare providers, and extended care teams such as fitness and diet care. It uses Data Science, Big Data and distributed clouds to pull information from health platforms to inform change and improvements across the entire spectrum of healthcare.
What they do: UnaliWear's main product is the Kanega Watch, a component of a larger personal emergency response system. The watch is voice-controlled, nearly indestructible, and remarkably stylish for a product of its sort — it looks like a regular watch, just a little bit cooler.
How it's changing healthtech: This company applies its knowledge of the buzzing AI and wearables fields to help vulnerable users live and thrive with independence and dignity. The world is taking notice — UnaliWear is already one of Austin's biggest fundraisers this year.
What they do: Launched by two Harvard alumni and one tech expert, Visible brings social sharing and discovery to the medical sphere. It boasts a suite of apps covering almost everyone and every step in the process, from diagnosis to treatment to healing.
How it's changing healthtech: Doctors and patients don't suffer from a lack of information; there is far too much for any individual to absorb and make sense of it all. Visible Health has become nationally known for funneling and streamlining the knowledge and data available so that patients and providers will know what they need to know when they need to know it.
What they do: As an independent company from Essilor of America, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, VisionWeb, delivers the speed, efficiency, and connectivity of the Internet to all participants in the eyecare industry - enhancing their productivity and profitability with a single resource to serve their informational, educational, and commerce needs.
How it's changing healthtech: VisionWeb continues to pioneer technology that enables the eyecare industry to automate business processes and increase efficiency. We pride ourselves on creating an open and neutral exchange on the Internet by working with eyecare professionals, suppliers, laboratories, software providers, and other industry leaders. It is our goal to always stay progressive in the industry and uphold the VisionWeb mission.
What they do: Wellsmith provides a digital platform to engage people in their own health management. Currently providing trials for Type II Diabetes, the platform will soon have trials for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Congestive Heart Failure.
How it's changing healthcare: Wellsmith is working to reverse chronic diseases and help people take back control of their health.
Images from Facebook, company websites and Shutterstock