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Health Startup Digest - 6/10/16

Startup Highlight: Xip Xip is creating a tool for EDs to conduct fast, point-of-care blood tests for
Issue #16  •  June 10  •  View online  •  Suggest a link
The latest news and information about innovations in healthcare.
Startup Highlight: Xip
Xip is creating a tool for EDs to conduct fast, point-of-care blood tests for patients to detect everything from troponin for heart attacks, to STDs, and other tests that typically require longer turn around. While point-of-care tests exist today, as the company mentions, they, “require unwieldy instruments and often cannot detect low yet meaningful levels of troponin.” Seems quite interesting if they can get the science to work beyond heart attack detection. 
As always, if you come across news, announcements, videos, or podcasts that you think the other 4,900+ subscribers would benefit from, e-mail me at or tweet @R_Scott_Munro and subscribe to the digest, here.
If you would like me to include a “Shout Out” let me know, and I’ll throw it in the digest!
This is a great session from the recent MedTech Conference with Paul LaViolette of SV Life Sciences/TransEnterix, John Pavlidis, CEO of VytronUS, and Eric Timko, former CEO of Blue Belt. They go through a series of discussions from whether or not robotic surgery is still in its infancy (spoiler alert: it is), to how the FDA treats robotic devices, to various marketing strategies they employed at their companies. It’s a great look at where robotics is today, and how the market (physicians and consumers) view the technology.   •   Share

As folks in the “know”…. know CRISPR is not just one gene editing tool, but an umbrella term for a number of different systems of gene editing, of which Cas9 is just one. This article goes into detail about C2C2 which can, “make molecules that can attack RNA and chop it up.” Now, you may be asking yourself why this is important, well these bacteria with C2C2 can potentially attack RNA made in particular cancer cells, as Dr. Feng Zhang mentions in the article, thus selectively destroying the cancer. Read more in this NYT piece. 

I usually don’t like putting something on here when I have seen it on another digest, but this piece from Dr. Ashish Jha was too good to pass up. He goes through how we think about medical errors, and whether or not we should really broaden the definition to include challenges that arise from, for instance, interoperability struggles. Via a vignette Dr. Jha asks: Is the death of a patient caused by lack of information on a patient’s history because it’s stored in a siloed EMR at another hospital a medical error? He believes it should be, and in the 21st century we owe it to our patients to do better.

This is another example of the type of article I don’t usually like sharing: funding updates. In this case, Freenome’s CEO, Gabriel Otte, goes into far more detail than just the fact that they are raising money. He actually also gives some background on their company (based on cfDNA technology) and why they think they can win in the liquid biopsy market. This is quite a crowded market, and cfDNA is by no means new. In fact many companies are currently commercializing liquid biopsies around this very technology (cfDNA). The secret sauce may be in their “Adaptive Genetics Engine” as the company suggests. Color me skeptical, but its a good read anyway.   •   Share

This quarter’s Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation is focused on an incredibly important topic: aligning incentives and outcomes in the new fee-for-outcome world. When I first accessed these articles they were free until July 1, not it seems they are free until June 1. Astute readers will notice that is a date in the past. So, if you can get a hold of these articles, I suggest reading them, if not, sorry for teasing you like this!

Shout Outs
The good people at the Inter-American Development Bank wanted me to share this link and the following blurb with everyone.
“Do you have a startup in Latin America and the Caribbean that has developed a health, water , sanitation and hygiene solution, product or service that is improving lives? If so, this is the contest for you! Apply to be one of the startups selected to experience Demand Solutions, and network, pitch, and compete for awards during Venture Night.”   •   Share

Quote of the Week:
“All of this begs the question why—why is our system so sloppy? The answer: because it can be. Because the costs of medical errors are hidden. No senior hospital administrator or Washington policymaker heard about Mr. Jones’s death. Even when the errors are more obvious, the financial consequences to institutions are small. And until we fundamentally shift the incentive structure of the system so that the most careful and safe systems get rewarded handsomely (and the poor performers get punished), none of the sloppiness goes away.”
- Ashish Jha, MD
This Digest is curated by:
I am a classical languages nerd turned digital health geek. I spend my days researching medical device, pharmaceutical, and biotech companies + helping clinicians efficiently collaborate.
I have a passion for the intersection of health and technology, and wholeheartedly believe we are at the beginning of the most exciting eras of health care.
Note: I do not ask for compensation for any organization featured in the Shout Outs section, and if I have a vested interested, I will make a note of it
Techstars Startup Digest Health is curated by:
Alaedine Benani Alaedine Benani - MD PhD Trainee - MSc in Data Science & Entrepreneurship
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