Healthbox and Florida Blue Bet on Consumer Engagement, Wellness Startups

August 7, 2013
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Originally published on MedCityNews.com.

Originally published on MedCityNews.com.

spinning class exercise gymDigital health accelerator Healthbox and anchor partner Florida Blue had their priorities straight when they chose the seven companies for their inaugural Florida accelerator program: Address the high populations of seniors and youths in the state.

Companies that do that will have more opportunity to scale and build momentum, they reasoned.

Healthbox’s lineup looks a little different than most of the big-name digital health accelerators’ usually do. It’s entirely consumer-focused and revolves around consumer engagement and fitness.

In that first group that’s trying to empower consumers to manage their health with technology, there’s CareSpotter, an online marketplace for connecting families with the right caregivers. There’s also eTect, which is targeting the clinical trial space with a combination of ingestible wireless sensors and a wearable reader for use in tracking and improving medication adherence. Sounds a bit like Proteus Digital, no?

A research organization dedicated to the commercialization of robotics, ROBAUTO, is an interesting addition to the class. It’s described by Healthbox as “creating personalities for robots”. A fourth startup in the consumer engagement category declined to be named so it could stay in stealth mode.

In the wellness arena, there’s Fitzeal, which runs a web platform for helping people book appointments with non-medical health and fitness experts, and Yo-Fi Wellness, which provides customized instructive fitness videos for employees delivered through an online platform.

For the younger population, Rostr provides high school athletes a platform to market themselves to collegiate scouts and track their athletic development.

Five of the seven companies are already based in Florida, home to burgeoning life science and IT communities. They will have access to seed capital, workspace and Healthbox’s mentor network during the 16-week accelerator in Jacksonville.

[Image credit: Flickr user Nottingham Trent University]

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