Healthbox: Chicago’s New Health-Focused Startup Accelerator Debuts Its Inaugural Batch

Is healthcare the industry that represents the next big opportunity for startups? Many are starting to believe it is, especially considering the fact that U.S. healthcare is currently a $2 trillion business. With technology beginning to play an increasingly vital role in healthcare and the health industry, disruption of legacy systems and an in-with-the-new approach has come to the fore for entrepreneurs looking for big opportunities in areas where they can add some serious real-world value. And what better way to help fund jumpstart these new health businesses than with business accelerators focused solely on healthcare? Bring them on, we say.

Rock Health is off to a good start with its health-focused accelerator, announcing its second batch of killer startups last week. And now Chicago-based Sandbox Industries is launching its own health-y startup accelerator, called

Healthbox is set to launch its three-month accelerator program on January 9, 2012 and will be seeding the 10 companies it has chosen from over 200 applications with $50,000 equity investments (for a 7 percent stake). The 10 teams will share space and collaborate at the accelerator’s headquarters in Chicago, where they will be given access to an expert network of entrepreneurs, investors, and experts, a collaborative workspace, as well as forums led by these experts and investors, geared towards educating startups on partnerships, product development, and so on.

Like Y Combinator, TechStars, and others before it, Healthbox’s program will culminate with an “Investor Day”, where startups will have the opportunity to pitch their businesses to a targeted group of health-focused investors.

Healthbox has already forged industry-specific partnerships with providers like BlueCross Blue Shield, as well as with foundations and venture firms like California HealthCare Foundation, HLM Venture Partners, and corporations like Walgreens.

So, without further ado, here is a brief introduction to the first 10 startups that will be taking part in Healthbox’s inaugural batch:

PUSH Wellness (Chicago) is an outcomes-based wellness incentive provider that drives behavior change in health factors that are meaningful, measurable and modifiable, producing tangible benefits for participants and employers.

PaJR-Patient Journey Record (Dublin) uses a cloud-based system with machine learning capabilities to identify patients at high risk of readmission using patient and caregiver self-reported health status.

SwipeSense (Evanston) is hand-washing 2.0, arming healthcare providers with a portable hand-sanitation device in combination with real-time data analytics in order to increase compliance and reduce hospital-acquired infections.

CareWire (Minneapolis) is a patient engagement solution that utilizes automated patient text messaging to increase billable appointment yield, visualize patient satisfaction in near-real-time and improve provider performance.

The Coupon Doc (Atlanta) provides an easy-to-use, centralized platform that allows consumers to access manufacturer discounts on their prescription and OTC medications.

Corengi (Seattle) connects qualified patients with ongoing clinical research studies through a comprehensive online platform. Patients are able to quickly distill relevant studies, trial sponsors are able to reduce costly delays and medical innovation is accelerated.

Iconic Data (Georgia) delivers a cloud-based patient list manager solution that provides physicians access to near-real-time snapshots of clinical care episodes across disparate, non-integrated facilities, resulting in increased charge capture and reduced inefficiencies.

UnitedPreference (Princeton) offers employers a Tailored Spend™ payments network that allows health plans to improve participation in preventative health initiatives via branded prepaid cards that can be used to purchase items determined by the health plans.

DermLink (Atherton) is a cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant application that enables remote diagnosis of dermatology cases, dramatically reducing wait times for patients while driving increased revenue and flexibility for providers.

CareHubs (Oregon) is a healthcare enterprise social platform that offers dynamic, innovative tools to help patients and healthcare providers better connect, coordinate and engage.

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