Healthworx and LifeBridge Health continue to provide an increasing number of healthcare innovators the opportunity to scale their business and transform healthcare
Baltimore – Feb. 28, 2023 – At a moment in time when the market is constricting, the 1501 Health incubator saw an incredible volume of applications for its next cohort, pointing to a higher need for startups to connect to corporations and funding to better understand what their end customer really needs. Healthworx, the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst), and LifeBridge Health have selected eight promising healthcare innovators from a slew of applicants to participate in the third cohort of 1501 Health, a year-long incubator and investment program for healthcare startups, kicking off this week.
1501 Health provides investment, payer and provider resources, and mentorship to help early-stage companies develop and scale their healthcare solutions. Chosen from a record number of 147 applicants, a nearly 31% increase over last year, the selected companies include:
• Athelo Health of Nashville, an oncology-focused, AI-driven digital health platform providing support for women with breast and gynecologic cancers.
• CareAdvisors of Chicago, the first social care management software platform that works for all stakeholders in the ecosystem, including hospitals, health plans and community-based organizations with the goal of eliminating disparities and inequities in healthcare.
• Delfina of San Francisco, an intelligent prenatal care platform designed to leverage best practices in technology and clinical care to decrease health disparities in pregnancy.
• Gritwell of San Francisco, a virtual care platform with AI integration that addresses the “why” behind symptoms. Users are paired with a functional health coach who creates a plan based on unique symptoms, goals, and health history.
• MapHabit of Atlanta, a unique approach to behavioral health using a care management platform focused on map building to improve personal interactions, quality of life, and independence for individuals and their support system.
• Mighty Health of San Francisco, the first exercise, nutrition and wellness app designed specifically for people over 50 years of age, offering customizable options and a motivational community.
• Tembo Health of New York, a digital health platform that delivers high-quality care to seniors, allowing them to age happy, healthy, and at home.
• Visana Health of Minneapolis, a virtual women’s health clinic that tackles underserved women’s health conditions ranging from the simple to the complex with the goal of providing whole-person care.
“This cohort was the most competitive yet; it was hard to select only a handful out of such a promising group of applicants,” said Soo Jeon, 1501 Health co-lead. “In addition to the innovative solutions the companies are building, we were impressed with their ability to tackle big problem areas in healthcare. We’re excited to watch them grow and see what long-term partnerships might be created here.”
“The growing interest in learning from this ‘pay-vider’ environment has been exciting and really shines a light on our ability as a payer and provider to effectively connect our companies to the experts that can help them the most,” said Jordan Evans, 1501 Health co-lead and digital health incubator program manager at LifeBridge Health.
Cohort members have access to unique mentorship opportunities and support from payer and provider experts, along with networking and educational events with other startups, investors and stakeholders. They also receive up to $125,000 in investment capital, a 25% increase from the previous two cohorts.
“It’s a challenging market for early-stage companies to raise money, and we wanted to ease the struggle,” Emily Durfee, director of corporate venture capital at Healthworx, said. “We’ve also been impressed by the companies we’ve had in our last two cohorts and what they’ve been able to accomplish; we see significant value for the industry in increasing this investment and deepening our partnership with the companies.”
In addition to elevated investment dollars, 1501 Health is also rolling out a new curriculum, which will cover general and practical topics cohort companies can use to navigate the complex world of healthcare.
Taking momentum from the first two cohorts, the teams have begun to identify recurring trends and topics, such as value-based care partnerships, and integrate learning opportunities on specific high-impact topics to accelerate thinking and inspire action for these companies.
1501 Health will officially welcome the third cohort at an event in April when it will also acknowledge and graduate the second cohort.
About 1501 Health
1501 Health is a unique partnership between Healthworx and LifeBridge Health, representing expertise in both health insurance and financing (payers) and healthcare delivery and services (providers). The investment and incubation program empowers entrepreneurs to get their innovative solutions to market and expand their impact on healthcare quality, access and affordability. To learn more about 1501Health, visit www.1501Health.com.
Healthworx operates at the intersection of healthcare and innovation by creating, co-creating and investing in companies that are improving healthcare quality, accessibility, affordability, and equity. As the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst, Healthworx envisions a healthier future for all people by changing the way health works. To connect with Healthworx about partnering, media interviews or speaking opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About LifeBridge Health
LifeBridge Health is one of the largest, most comprehensive providers of health services in Maryland. LifeBridge Health includes Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Northwest Hospital, Carroll Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Grace Medical Center, and related affiliates. For more information, visit www.lifebridgehealth.org.