Health care startups: A tech solution targets female health issues, AI streamlines the intake process and Cascadia Health builds a mixed-use campus.
Holly Rockweiler is unfazed by people who titter nervously when she describes the product Madorra manufactures: a medical device that helps relieve vaginal dryness for breast cancer survivors and post-menopausal women.
“It’s a huge problem,” she says.
Rockweiler, 31, incubated the company as part of a Stanford Biodesign fellowship she received in 2014. Vaginal dryness is typically treated hormonally, but Madorra uses ultrasound waves to relieve symptoms; a typical application takes only five minutes daily, Rockweiler says. FDA approval is expected to move forward in about two years.
In the meantime, Rockweiler and her partner, Ryan Krone, relocated Madorra from San Francisco to Portland, where the startup has already landed nearly $500,000 from PitchFest and Angel Oregon.
The potential market for Madorra is enormous: 32 million women in the U.S. alone, Rockweiler says.
Working on digital health innovation for Providence showed Ray Costantini just how cumbersome patient services can be — even for telehealth systems. Enter Bright.md, an AI system that automates the intake process; the software reviews medical records, interviews the patient and summarizes chart information for physicians.
“What would take in person or video or phone or email 20 minutes of provider time, through our system is delivered in about two minutes,” says Costantini, 40.
Since launching in 2014, Bright.md has raised $3.5 million. The platform has been integrated with several hospitals in South Carolina and will launch in Oregon in the next several months. One challenge, Costantini says, is educating patients and practitioners about the difference between Bright.md and telehealth. He says not everyone who experiences video-based care is a fan.
Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare
The Garlington Center, a project of Cascadia Behavioral Health, will be the first integrated health and housing campus in Oregon when it opens in 2018. The facility includes 52 housing units and a health center aimed at treating mental health and addiction.
“Without adequate housing, it’s difficult to care for your health,” says chief clinical officer Beth Epps. “Having a beautiful campus where both housing and services are offered, we hope to destigmatize the need to seek mental health or substance-use disorder treatment.”
Designed by Scott Edwards Architecture, the $28 million campus features a two-story structure housing the health center and a four-story building for residents. A community courtyard connects the two buildings.
Project funding includes $9.4 million from the Oregon State Housing Council, $4.5 million in New Markets Tax Credits and $750,000 from Meyer Memorial Trust.