Third Cohort of AlphaLab Health Launches to Accelerate Growth of Local Life Sciences Companies
The joint venture of Innovation Works and Allegheny Health Network will accelerate companies addressing a wide variety of patient needs: pain assessment, cochlear implantation, ophthalmic diagnostics, price transparency, sleep, and endotracheal tubes.
Pittsburgh, PA – November 29, 2022 – AlphaLab Health, a joint program of Innovation Works and Allegheny Health Network to accelerate the growth of healthcare and life sciences startups, announced the third cohort of companies to participate in the program. The AlphaLab Heath companies were competitively selected to participate in a six-month program that will help them navigate key risk points in the clinical and commercial development of their early-stage companies. The companies also receive up to $100,000 in pre-seed investment, wet and dry lab space, one-on-one and group education sessions, and access to clinicians, hospital executives and other experts who can help these emerging companies succeed through the early stages of development. This cohort features a wide range of companies covering diagnostics, therapeutics, medical devices, and healthcare IT.
“One of the main reasons that we chose AlphaLab Health was to establish a network of support for InnSights commercialization effort,” said Leanne Labriola, DO, MBA, president, and Co-Founder of InnSight Technology. “AlphaLab Health offers a unique connection to both an established hospital system as well as a partnership with Innovation Works which opens doors to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pittsburgh. We are excited to be part of this cohort and looking forward to bringing our device to market.”
“We’re thrilled to be a part of Cohort 3 of AlphaLab Health. The partnership between Innovation Works and Allegheny Health Network provides a unique blend of expertise and mentorship across healthcare and entrepreneurship, which will be pivotal in building a scalable health tech company that will solve systemic challenges that affect the US healthcare system. Throughout the program, we look forward to continuing to build tailored software to help health plans meet the healthcare price transparency legislation, to ultimately improve access and affordability of healthcare for patients in Pittsburgh, and soon across the US.” – Ahmed Marmoush, CEO and Co-Founder of Handl Health.
“AlphaLab Health’s unique model provides companies direct engagement with the healthcare system, on both the provider and payer side, enabling them to test their assumptions and pilot interactions,” said Megan Shaw, Managing Director for Life Sciences at Innovation Works. “The partnership between IW and AHN leverages the best of both organizations, from networks and resources to first-hand experience commercializing products. This cohort of ALH includes a strong set of clinician-entrepreneurs who developed solutions to address the challenges they and their patients faced. We’re excited to see these individuals bringing their talents beyond the bedside to help revolutionize healthcare.”
“This joint-venture continues to provide value to the entire region through growing the innovation economy and nurturing new ways to advance health care,” said Dr. Jeff Cohen, chief physician executive, community health and innovation for AHN. “Top researchers and clinicians at AHN can help these entrepreneurs refine and advance their ideas and expand their own thinking about the future of care.”
2022-2023 AlphaLab Health Cohort
Advanced Optronics Inc – Takes the guesswork out of getting a cochlear implant. Advanced Optronics (AO) designs and manufactures implantable sensors for intraoperative monitoring. AO’s first product is an integrated force and position sensor for cochlear implants. These sensors provide real-time feedback during surgery to reduce trauma and avoid damage to residual hearing during implantation. Their solution empowers surgeons with the ability to perform less traumatic insertions and preserve residual hearing.
Expressive Painimation – Through human-centered design, Expressive Painimation developed an electronic pain assessment tool that utilizes animations to assess pain quality and type. The speed and saturation of the animations can be calibrated by patients to assess intensity and course. Painimation does not rely on words so language and literacy are no longer barriers.
Handl Health – Handl Health is a healthcare price transparency platform. Handl offers health plans a simple way to comply with the CMS healthcare price transparency legislation while digitizing how patients shop, book, and pay for healthcare, creating an unparalleled user experience and realizing an average cost saving of 28%.
InnSight Teachnology, Inc – InnSight Technology utilizes a multidisciplinary team composed of ophthalmologists, engineers, designers, and business experts to create novel ophthalmic diagnostic devices. Currently, they are focused on the development of a hand-held tool that can be used to change the standard for tear film testing. In addition, it provides a platform technology that can be used for other tear film biomarkers and other fluids. They have advanced the project from proof of concept to early prototype and have collected clinical data that shows the precision of their device, called the OcuCheck.
Noctem Health – Noctem Health is modernizing behavioral sleep care to serve all clinicians and their patients. NOCTEM® eliminates the hassles of traditional behavioral sleep treatments while maintaining the quality and continuity of care for patients.
Respair, Inc. – Respair is developing and testing a prototype for a novel endotracheal tube designed to reduce ventilator-associated events. The company has previously completed concept validation through 50+ stakeholder interviews in addition to developing a business hypothesis, submitting a preliminary patent through the University of Pittsburgh for product design, and completing a preliminary regulatory pathway assessment. Respair is currently finalizing incorporation status in addition to utilizing ISO standards to complete bench testing on animal and human trachea models to further validate and refine the design of the endotracheal tube prototype.
Terri Glueck, Innovation Works, Vice President, Communications,
(412) 818-8191, firstname.lastname@example.org
Austin Price, Director, Stakeholder Engagement and Impact, Allegheny Health Network,
(412) 544-6513, Austin.Price@highmarkhealth.org
About AlphaLab Health
AlphaLab Health (www.alphalabhealth.org) is a program of Innovation Works (IW) in partnership with Allegheny Health Network (AHN). IW and AHN bring their resources and expertise together to deliver greater value to health and life science related companies in the Pittsburgh region, nurturing innovations that will change health care and create growth for the regional economy. AlphaLab Health gives entrepreneurs access to specialized clinicians, insurers, hospital administrators and domain experts that accelerate the new company’s growth. The program links emerging companies with early customers, corporate partners, potential investors and knowledgeable staff and mentors so entrepreneurs can bring to life the innovations that will change and improve patient care.
About Innovation Works
Innovation Works (IW) is the region’s most active pre- and seed-stage investor and one of the most active early-stage investors across the country. In addition to providing investment through the only seed fund exclusively focused on the greater Pittsburgh region, Innovation Works has numerous programs and accelerators to advance high potential startups in every type of technology: software, hardware and life sciences. IW’s renowned AlphaLab accelerators (AlphaLab, AlphaLab Gear and AlphaLab Heath) adapt to entrepreneurs’ time frames and educational needs with flexible start times, tailored programming and entrepreneurially-friendly investment terms. IW is the Southwestern PA Ben Franklin Technology Partner, a network of four statewide centers to advance innovation in Pennsylvania and partially funded through and overseen by the commonwealth’s Department of Community and Economic Development. For more information, go to www.innovationworks.org.
About the Allegheny Health Network:
Allegheny Health Network (AHN.org) is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the greater Western Pennsylvania region. The Network is composed of 14 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, Health + Wellness Pavilions, multiple employed physician organizations, home and community-based health services, a research institute, and a group purchasing organization. The Network provides patients with access to a complete spectrum of advanced medical services, including nationally recognized programs for primary and emergency care, trauma care, cardiovascular disease, organ transplantation, cancer care, orthopedic surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, women’s health, diabetes, autoimmune disease and more. AHN employs approximately 21,000 people, has more than 2,600 physicians on its medical staff and serves as a clinical campus for Drexel University College of Medicine and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.