Improving the healthcare experiences that matter most to patients.
To optimize Medicare payments hospitals must continuously improve patient satisfaction. Last year most local hospitals lost thousands of dollars in Medicare payments because they failed to improve their patients’ experience. Hospitals typically rely on surveys to monitor the patient experience. Surveys show how the hospital is currently performing but do little to diagnose the problems that are frustrating patients.
PatientsVoices™ solves this problem. The company asks patients to verbally tell their stories about the healthcare experiences that matter to them. The patient insight from these stories takes the guess work out of deciding how to improve the patient experience. The company is developing software that quickly analyzes these patient stories to identify the problems that are negatively impacting patient satisfaction, clinical outcomes and financial results.
“The founder of PatientsVoices™ has a deep background in customer feedback analysis and is putting that experience to great use in the healthcare field,” said Jeff Shackelford, director, Digital Sandbox. “With the increased emphasis on coupling Medicare reimbursement with improving the patient experience, the market for PatientsVoices™ services is exploding.”
PatientsVoices™ interview and analysis process was developed over a 15+ year period working with premier consumer product companies. The company’s unique approach quickly uncovers patient expectations and provides specific feedback on how to improve the experiences that matter most to patients.
Digital Sandbox funding will assist with the development of a HIPPA secure, IT infrastructure for processing, analyzing and reporting patient feedback. Project results will enable PatientsVoices™ to deploy customized, client dashboards for reporting patient feedback and integrating the metrics that clients need to monitor the impact of performance improvement activity on the patient experience.
Never miss another event
Passel is a free, web and mobile app that puts Mom at the center of her schedule, and enables her to easily maintain her existing mobile calendar. Teams and groups can easily create calendars on Passel with the event dates, times, and locations. Mom simply “follows” the calendar and it automatically adds the team events to her existing mobile calendar. When a modification is made to an event Passel automatically updates Mom’s mobile calendar for her. Passel allows the user to replace the classic “Refrigerator Calendar” with a solution that is automatic, on her phone, and always accurate.
With Passel her book club, Girl Scout meetings, soccer games, and football practices are all in one place, on her iOS or Google calendar.
Former colleagues at Hallmark, Aaron DeWitt and Neil Pfeiffer saw the need for a service that could help busy Moms seamlessly manage their hectic schedules.
“The Passel founders have identified a real problem in today’s busy world of multiple calendars,” said Jeff Shackelford, director, Digital Sandbox. “They’ve developed a simple, yet integrated solution that will appeal to many.
Funding from Digital Sandbox is being used to complete the development of Passel’s minimum viable product that includes both iOS and Android operating systems.
The future of home-building is here today.
Acre Designs builds homes for the next generation that fully embrace new technologies, processes and materials. They design homes that are more efficient, comfortable, intelligent and affordable. By using a proprietary PGX system, owners of Acre Designs homes will save hundreds of thousands of dollars in utility expenses versus today’s typically-built homes.
“Acre Designs has a truly game-changing technology that can revolutionize home building as we know it today,” said Jeff Shackelford, director, Digital Sandbox. “This is the type of early-stage entrepreneur that fits in Digital Sandbox.”
A key technology that helps Acre Designs homes advance in energy performance is their PGX system. This system uses geothermal energy to temper incoming air and to cool through the home’s slab. Through this system, Acre Design can generate more than 5,000 BTU of heating and more than 15,000 BTU of cooling, greatly reducing and possibly eliminating the need for an active air conditioner or heat pump.
The system is comprised of a series of pumps, geothermal loops, radiant slab loops and air/water heat exchangers. Temperature is modulated via variable speed pumps that are controlled with a hub that measures various sensors monitoring weather, indoor temperature and humidity, and responds to user selected set points. The hub, based on open source hardware, will be compatible with various home automation protocols to enable interactivity with major automation and control systems.
The PGX system will improve performance of Acre Designs homes by 40%, allowing the homes to meet net-zero energy standards and outperform other homes on the market.
Funding from Digital Sandbox KC is enabling Acre Designs to finalize development and validate the performance of the PGX system.
Revaluate lets you know what it’s like to live at a specific location…before you move there. By combining a “carfax-like” home history report with a proprietary scoring platform, Revaluate has created a livability rating that allows buyers, renters and real estate professionals to quickly and accurately compare significant and subtle differences between properties.
“According to market research, 39% of people say they would not move where they currently live if they had known more about the property and the surrounding area,” said Revaluate co-founder Chris Drayer. “That’s what Revaluate does, gives you deep insight into a property before you move in.”
Revaluate simplifies, organizes and standardizes millions of data points across neighborhoods and specific addresses to produce a unique score for each address. The score is based on four key Categories: Safety, Environment, Quality of Life and Expenses producing the unique “livability score” for each address.
“Most current real estate sites will tell you the stuff you already know about a property”, said Chris, “Revaluate tells you about noisy construction projects, or continual issues with the buildings elevators or safety issues in the surrounding area…those things that can severely impact the livability after you move in.”
Chris and his team came to Digital Sandbox KC looking for direction and connections that could help them move forward with their concept.
“I liked the Revaluate idea from the first time I heard Chris explain the concept,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC. “They’re unique ability to procure very detailed and pertinent data points at the address level is unique and valuable.”
After accepting a Digital Sandbox scholarship to Kauffman’s FastTrac Tech Venture course, the Revaluate team built a a more complete business plan and go-to market strategy.
“The Kauffman FastTrac course was so beneficial”, said Drayer, “not only for driving us to do a more complete business model but also for the connections we made.”
Revaluate has released its beta version to a limited audience in the Manhattan, NY real estate market.
ShotTracker is the first piece of affordable, wearable tech for basketball players who want to improve their shooting. ShotTracker automatically tracks shot attempts, makes, and misses. Digital Sandbox KC assisted with the development of the web interface for the ShotTracker application. With a successful proof of concept and working prototype, ShotTracker was able to solidify a significant Series A round of investment.
Genneo gives people the tools to convert their own natural movement into battery charge for phones and other electronic devices. A new kind of generator that moves with the person, Genneo allows users to be less dependent on the power grid when using mobile electronics.
According to the company, people are spending more and more time away from the power grid while connected wirelessly for communication and entertainment so they need better options for remote and mobile charging. Mobile power generation products currently on the market are limited in application and complicated.
The Genneo captures energy from natural movements. Just carry it in a backpack or pocket and it turns energy from movement into battery charge. The products are also complete auxiliary batteries. They charge both from movement and from pre-charging, and have integrated high capacity batteries. They fast charge any device that charges from a USB port.
The company is targeting three markets: electronics retail, OEM (original equipment manufacturer) wholesale and military. Retail target consumers include backpackers, campers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. As the technology improves and the product size decreases, the company will also target mass market consumers who now buy auxiliary battery products. Genneo’s early revenue has come from OEM customers who need a generator element integrated into their products. OEM applications so far include personal asset tracking and wearable technology. The strategy for the military market involves securing research grants and working through SBIR phases.
The company was founded in January of 2011 with Blake Isaacs as CEO. The leadership team is rounded out by Chief Creative Officer Daniel Mota Veiga and Vice President Nicholas McLean. Together, the group has extensive experience in product design and development.
The Digital Sandbox KC project will support a beta test build of up to 50 model G3000 units for field testing as a final step before launching Genneo branded products later this year.
PlanetReuse Marketplace is built on a simple but powerful concept: give homeowners instant access to reclaimed and surplus building materials.
Access to resources: Digital Sandbox KC is feeding the same need for PlanetReuse Marketplace, helping them find the resources—funding and mentors—to diversify its revenue model and build a better experience for their customers.
Building on a Solid Foundation
Nathan Benjamin founded PlanetReuse in 2008 to make reusing reclaimed materials easier, so that more people would do it. After spending nearly five years building a reclaimed building materials network to serve the commercial building industry, Benjamin founded a spinoff to serve residential customers: PlanetReuse Marketplace.
PlanetReuse Marketplace is an online platform that helps reuse centers make reclaimed and surplus building materials instantly accessible to homeowners nationwide. Imagine CraigsList, but better looking, easier to use and updated in real time. PlanetReuse Marketplace enables reuse centers to attract new customers while keeping their loyal treasure hunters happy by displaying exactly what is in store at any given time.
“Our aim is to make reuse as easy as buying new, increasing awareness for the reuse industry and decreasing the ever-growing amount of usable building materials in our landfills,” said Benjamin.
Using proprietary InvenQuery technology and mobile app, reuse centers can populate their site and Facebook with their inventories, instantly, and in a single workflow. Items are removed automatically at point-of-sale.
“Everything we do is influenced by our triple bottom line approach to business: we take our people, our profits and the planet into account when making decisions,” added Benjamin. “Our partnership with Digital Sandbox KC will allow us to expand our capabilities and enable us to grow both as an organization and as a champion of the reuse economy. We have ambitious goals, innovative solutions and passionate people. We’re just getting started.”
Playing in the Digital Sandbox
“PlanetReuse Marketplace is one of those terrific businesses that helps solve a real world problem, in this case, the amount of reusable building materials that end up in landfills, by using technology to make items visible and available to the marketplace,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC. “It’s just not a great business concept but also a helping to recycle usable materials.”
PlanetReuse Marketplace is one of the first six innovative companies to be eligible for funding from Digital Sandbox KC, which provides proof-of-concept resources to support early-stage commercialization processes. Support for each Sandbox participant is customized based on the unique needs of the project as well as the resources required to move the product or service forward.
More than half of Americans—adults and children–are on chronic medications. Failure to take that medication can result in disastrous personal and financial consequences. With organ transplants, lack of adherence can mean graft loss and even death. In diabetes, it can translate into increased complication and organ failure. In HIV+ individuals, failure to adhere to prescribed medical regimens can mean increased conversion rates to AIDS.
There are significant financial losses as well: non-adherence costs the pharmaceutical industry alone an estimated $100 to 300 billion each year—and that’s on top of other financial losses due to increased complications and hospital readmissions.
Play-it Health, one of the first six companies to be eligible for funding the Digital Sandbox KC, has found a way to make taking medications and following medical regimes easier, and even fun, with the most comprehensive, innovative, and responsive adherence system to date. By working with the Sandbox’s resources and corporate partners, Play-it Health hopes to transform an innovative idea into a solid business.
An Easier Pill to Swallow
Dr. Kimberly Gandy, founder and CEO, had been confronted firsthand with the devastating consequences of nonadherence. She had watched patients, young and old, die due to an inability to adhere to complex medical regimens. As a clinician, she began to devise systems to solve this problem—and save lives.
Since some of the most problematic patients are adolescents, her solutions began using information technology, and more specifically, mobile information technology. With diverse software products, including apps, eBooks, games and web worlds, Dr. Gandy and Play-it Health have developed a system to engage patients more effectively.
For example, smartphone applications give tailored medication reminders, facilitate contact with caregivers and include motivational games, rewards and education. Another example, Play-it Health’s customizable eBooks provide an engaging approach to typically dry medical content by incorporating animated illustrations and pop quizzes.
Play-it Health has also identified a critical and missing link in other approaches to adherence. The medical system currently lacks the resources and capacity to monitor, analyze and continuously update the information necessary to provide optimal support to improve adherence to medical regimens. Play-it Health is developing a system to provide these services. Though the mainstay of the system is an automated component, these services will be backed by significant clinical expertise.
With all of this serious work as a backdrop, Dr. Gandy’s daughter, Erica, wanted to make sure that Dr. Gandy did not forget to incorporate fun into her thinking. Erica was sure that fun would translate into participation. She began to draw and describe schematics of how she wanted games and medication administration to interface, a process that led to some of the first proposed products of Play-it Health.
Where Innovators Comes to Play
“Play-it Health is a great example of the Digital Sandbox KC partnering with an incredible entrepreneur to help solve a very serious real world problem,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC. “Dr. Gandy has used her vast expertise in the adolescent transplant field to find a better way to encourage younger patients to fully follow their post transplant medical adherence.”
“Within the Sandbox, we are hoping to gain the guidance necessary to take our company from a good idea with a solid foundation to a company with a means and end to moving forward with a sound, revenue generating model,” says Dr. Gandy. “The seed funding will allow us to move further to achieving these goals.”
BigBang is a backend as a service (BaaS) platform for developing real-time applications for mobile devices, desktops and the web. BigBang reduces complexity by providing developers with a streamlined API that allows them to build scalable applications without maintaining servers or infrastructure.
Jonathan Wagner founded BigBang on the premise that application developers want to develop real-time features that function identically on any device or platform. There are many good tools and frameworks for creating the client portion of a real-time connected application across devices, but few for developing the infrastructure.
BigBang provides client APIs that developers can use to add real-time networking and structured data storage to their applications quickly and simply. They work across platforms and operating systems, and are custom tailored for popular client frameworks and technologies. In many cases, applications can be developed entirely using the client APIs. Developers can scale their applications to thousands or millions of users with no code changes.
Wagner sees a significant market for the service. The current mobile application development services market is valued at roughly $20.5 million. The BaaS market as a whole is less than five years old and is expected to grow from $200 million to more than $7 billion in the next four years.
The founder brings real world application development to the company. Wagner was the application developer for Flex Rental Solutions (formerly Shoptick, acquired), now the leading provider of cloud based rental and event management software. At Electrotank (acquired by Hi5 Games), he developed crossplatform networking middleware for games, simulations and virtual worlds. Technology licensees include Disney, Ubisoft, Mattel, Viacom, Spinmaster and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Proof of concept funding from Digital Sandbox KC will help expand the number of programming languages supported by the API and provide technical documentation.
Dewsly™, is a safe and secure online community that brings together schools, teachers, parents and students — all in one place — to stay up-to-date on important school, classroom and activity updates. Dewsly can provide schools streamlined communication of important activities, news, and information using online tools that engage the community through articles, photo galleries, videos, and live streaming coverage of the education experiences that can be monitored and controlled by school administrators.
The company was founded in the summer of 2012 by Anthony Noll, Jake Lisby and Tom Clark. The three combine a passion for education and community engagement with technical expertise and business strategy. The trio saw an opportunity in the current state of educational content. Today much of a school’s media content is captured in expensive analog formats within vertical silos which limit integration into more highly efficient digital platforms. Online searching for school information is difficult and results are oftentimes outdated and unusable. Additionally, the cost of maintaining traditional platforms (newspapers, yearbooks, and websites) while converting to new and ever evolving platforms is cost prohibitive to many school districts.
Dewsly™ provides an integrated, internet mobile based service solution that delivers exceptional value by improving media and communications systems to students, families, faculty, and the local community as a whole by providing schools with educational and digital media sharing services on a safe and secure platform.
Digital Sandbox KC will help Dewsly with the development of a smartphone app.