The future of health and wellness has arrived. Healthtech upends the bureaucratic, rigid ways of traditional healthcare and replaces them with consumer-driven health and wellness options that leverage technology to increase both the reach and impact of health and wellness programs.
With no shortage of startups working to change the face of traditional health care, Gainesville’s collaboration and innovation-rich startup community, esteemed university and award-winning medical facilities make this city a hotbed for advancement in health and wellness.
The following three healthtech companies lead the charge in leveraging technology as tools for consumer-driven healthcare:
Consumers can now choose to engage in personal health and wellness from the comfort, privacy and convenience of their homes. With the introduction of technology as a tool for the mental health and wellness world, consumers are given a choice in how they want to receive and engage in therapy.
LovEd is a fast-growing self-improvement organization passionate about empowering, educating and helping individuals reach their fullest potential through programs and services that provide the practical, proven knowledge needed to create happy, healthy and authentic lives.
A social-cause company, LovEd uses technology to serve individuals tools they need to improve their quality of life and their relationships using online workshops accessible from the convenience and privacy of users’ own homes for less than the cost of an in-office visit.
“It’s the internet that really allows people to be served in a profound way because it’s access to education and information” Springer said. “ People are struggling not because they’re stupid, it’s because they don’t have access to education.”
In addition to benefits like convenience and privacy, LovEd’s tech-based therapy options provide individuals safety and security even in group-based participation exercises through anonymous online polling.
“Instead of asking people questions that were so uncomfortable, I asked a live polling question, and right there in seconds, you could see how many people were experiencing this or that” Springer said. “When you get to create this kind of relatability with tools like anonymous polling, its extraordinary because people feel that are not alone.”
LovEd also features a private Facebook group in which recipients of treatment programs can interact with one another and benefit from peer-to-peer treatment.
The company’s founder and course leader, Isabell Springer, PhD, found a gateway to improving the lives of thousands with a series of interactive web-based treatment solutions that transcend limitations of the typical in-office visits.
“As a therapist, people can’t afford to come to me, and I know that, so I’m going to fix that with LoveEd” Springer said.
LovEd also seeks to change the ways in which participants view and engage in relationships as well as the self. Through her web-series, Clarity: A New Model for Love, Springer wants to revolutionize the ways people love themselves and others.
“If we can send someone to the moon or do pediatric neurosurgery, we can change the game of love” Springer said.
Taking place every Tuesday in October, Dr. Springer will host, LovEd Lunch & Learn, a travelling wellness series to support the personal well-being of employees of startups and local businesses in the Gainesville community. For more information about the event and how to register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lunch-learn-series-tickets-37507751695.
Individuals who have experienced limitations and difficulties derived from chronic paralysis can now take charge of their healthcare treatment and prevention plans from their homes.
At its core, MYOLYN is a consumer-choice focussed healthtech company working to transform healthcare for people with chronic paralysis from treatment to prevention. Their flagship product is the MyoCycle – a stationary cycling device that uses functional electrical stimulation (FES) technology to enable someone who’s paralyzed to pedal a bicycle, restoring the ability to mitigate the deleterious secondary health conditions associated with paralysis, which are principally related to forced sedentarism.
According to co-founder Matthew Bellman, the MyoCycle is part of the growing shift towards value-based healthcare enabled by technology.
“We know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and we also know that healthcare outcomes are improved when patients stay at home, so home-based, preventive healthcare solutions are in demand” Bellman said. “The MyoCycle fulfills that demand for people with chronic paralysis, for whom leaving the home is especially difficult and for whom preventive healthcare is especially effective.”
Founded in 2013 during Bellman’s PhD studies at the University of Florida’s College of Engineering, Myolyn’s primary office space was in the Innovation Hub, which launched the company into Gainesville’s inclusive startup community, according to Bellman.
“We participated in networking events, investor pitches, and competitions put on by the community (Gainesville Area Innovation Network), and these events connected us with the individuals in the community that have helped us to succeed” Bellman said.
Speaking to the opportunities for research, growth and collaboration in Gainesville, Bellman applauds the university and startup community for acting as hubs for a relatively young and active population of great business, technology and healthcare colleagues.
“The importance of networking cannot be overstated, and Gainesville’s tech-startup community is a network rich with entrepreneurs and investors, without which we wouldn’t be where we are today” Bellman said.
With dreams of creating a prosperous business and a knack for precision engineering, Bellman and his co-founder, Alan Hamlet, PhD, have always drawn inspiration from innovators like Elon Musk, who made significant impacts by starting their own companies and making them successful, according to Bellman.
“You could say that we were bitten by the entrepreneurship bug in graduate school, and after acing UF’s Engineering Entrepreneurship course, we took the leap and haven’t looked back” Bellman said.
HealthSteps’ focus on consumer health choice provides both doctors in pediatric care and at-home caretakers with solutions based in technology.
HealthSteps revolutionizes pediatric care through technology with personalized care plans that include detailed instructions, reminders and real-time synchronization to prevent medication errors by providing caretakers technology-based tools to make their lives a little easier.
As more and more pediatric care takes place in home environments, in contrast with hospitals and other medical facilities, many family members assume the role of care-takers who are expected to manage complex treatment plans.
According to HealthSteps CEO, Benjamin King, “our digital platform and mobile app improve pediatric health with personalized care plans that include detailed instructions, reminders and real-time synchronization.”
By coordinating care between doctors, parents and family members, HealthSteps can reduce miscommunication and medication errors, making the lives of family-members and at-home caretakers easier and treatment plans and instructions streamlined.
HealthSteps originated when King,was a member of the Launch Pad coworking space, located at UF’s Infinity Hall. During this time, King had an idea for creating a healthcare platform to link caregivers, based on his own stress and struggles from coordinating his mother’s cancer care between family members.
When an astute collaborator came across a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant that embodied the core vision of HealthSteps: “Connecting Cancer Caregivers to Care Teams: Digital Platforms to Support Informal Cancer Caregiving” and with the help of contributors from the Launch Pad community, Health Steps launched as a new company, according to King.
“This year we were one of the featured companies in the annual Celebration of Innovation showcase, sponsored by the UF Innovation Hub and the UF Office of Technology Licensing” King said.
According to King, The Hub has introduced Health Steps to many investors, mentors, and other entrepreneurs, who have all helped in the development and growth of the company.
All three HealthTech companies, focused in consumer-choice through technologic advancements in health and wellness, act as bright spots – successful examples worth emulating – for individuals working in the health and wellness spectrum of tech startups.
With dreams to improve the lives of individuals in all walks of life, these companies leverage their experiences in collaboration with other business, health and wellness professionals, networking abilities in Gainesville’s local startup community and passions for leveraging technology as tools for the benefit of health and wellness recipients.
By Lana Nasser, writer for GAIN