From Memphis to Knoxville, get to know the innovators in Tennessee who are leading the charge in the state’s tech-based future. With the potential to positively impact millions of lives, these Launch Tennessee portfolio companies and SBIR Matching Fund recipients are all making waves in the Healthcare Technology industry of Tennessee.
As we highlight a variety of health-focused observances during the month of May, we want to showcase the incredible scope of Tennessee’s healthcare startups, who provide incredible outcomes with their products and services in Tennessee and beyond.
Diatech Diabetes is developing life-saving medical technology in Western Tennessee. Infusion set failure detection may be a foreign concept to lots of people, but for any person making daily use of an insulin pump, it’s all too familiar. For those unaware, insulin pumps are used to deliver scheduled doses of insulin directly into the bloodstream of the user as an automated alternative to needle injections. Diatech classifies an infusion failure as any delivery event that does not have the ability to deliver the target volume within the expected time.
Diatech is made up of patients and family members of patients who have type 1 diabetes (T1D). The team worked closely with a pediatric endocrinology clinic during the initial founding days of the company, allowing the group to see firsthand what issues patients were having when using diabetes technology. The team’s personal connection to diabetes and the experiences of the patients they saw in the clinic inspired the formation of Diatech Diabetes and the mission to tackle the problem of insulin pump infusion failures.
Rootine, based in Nashville, is a hyper-personalized, subscription vitamin program that aims to provide its users with a completely unique mix of supplements for their health, creating personalized daily vitamin packs based on users’ DNA, blood levels, and lifestyle.
Rootine is optimizing health and daily performance with precision nutrition through at-home testing, precision multivitamin memberships, and digital tracking tools. Nutrition is key to maintaining health and preventing and treating many chronic diseases. Yet, even in one of the wealthiest nations, the nutrition in the U.S. is declining and we are facing a health crisis as many people are consuming less nutritional foods. We have better technology and knowledge access than ever before, and the founders of Rootine are focused on leveraging those advances, along with the latest in nutrition science, to help reverse the problem of nutritional deficiencies and bring focus to the importance of personalized nutrition as a way to move forward.
Very Real Help
Very Real Help is a Nashville-based startup developing a novel mental health application. The platform provides an accessible and affordable mental health intervention that combines proven principles of cognitive behavioral therapy and the increasingly promising aspects of peer support, and is delivered via immersive virtual reality (VR) environments. Very Real Help’s founding strategic partnership with JourneyPure, one of the largest providers of substance use rehabilitation services in the country, is providing a direct route to real world platform testing and execution. Using their own proprietary technique called Cognitive Behavioral Immersion™, Very Real Help use groundbreaking technology to transport users to entire worlds built for wellness.
MedHaul enables access to safe, quality, and inclusive transportation services for often overlooked populations, improving their quality of life and care. Founded in the heart of the Memphis Medical District, MedHaul was inspired by the founder’s difficult experience with booking non-emergency transportation for her grandmother, a Type 2 Diabetic double leg amputee. She discovered a lack of innovative solutions for transportation access to healthcare for communities that are often overlooked, inspiring her to start MedHaul.
The Memphis-based company, founded by Erica Plybeah, uses operational and population health data to optimize the patient transportation experience through health informatics, analytics, and population health best practices.
OculoTherapy, another Memphis-based company, develops novel therapies for eye-related diseases. To circumvent the issues associated with standard eye drop medications, Dr. Monica M. Jablonski, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee and Founder of OculoTherapy, developed an extended release, once-daily topical microemulsion-based formulation that more effectively delivers a drug (in this case, pregabalin) deep into the eye.
Although her current focus is on glaucoma, Dr. Jablonski anticipates the formulation can be coupled with other drugs to treat a range of eye-related diseases, including age-related macular degeneration.