Dancing older women, men
Finalists for HITLAB’s Innovators Challenge include a new platform that pairs dance partners.

A new virtual care program for people with chronic inflammatory conditions, and a startup that pairs older adults for healing through dance, are among the recent winners of HITLAB’s Breakthrough Alliance Innovators Challenge.

Three winners were awarded upcoming validation studies at HITLAB’s recent Digital Health Symposium at Columbia University in New York.

Motto Health’s platform for autoimmune care was awarded first prize, while a Spanish company, Health Circuit, won second place for a digital platform, Surgifit, that focuses on supporting patients pre-surgery.

Chronic inflammation is very common in older adults and is a major risk factor for diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer.

Motto’s app was created last year and currently serves patients in Texas and California. The platform allows users to chat with their care team, track symptoms and schedule appointments, as a means of creating a more efficient healthcare service.

The third-place winner, Dance4Healing, aims to build a platform that pairs patients to be physically active together, claiming that dancing reduces the risk of dementia and cardiovascular death.

Speakers during the three-day HITLAB symposium highlighted AI and telehealth’s ubiquity and continued role within the overall healthcare system, Fierce Healthcare reported.

In particular, experts touted breakthroughs in remote patient monitoring and the possibilities for increasing healthcare equity through technology.

One speaker, David Berger, MD, and CEO of SUNY Downstate Medical Center, noted that although older adults are adapting to new technology, lack of access or standardized tools still posed a challenge.

Runner-ups for the Innovators Challenge distinction included a new medical imaging software for cancer from Glendor and an AI tool to protect patients’ privacy from DeepLook Medical.

Investment and expansion of telehealth services is a recent focus of a bipartisan bill gaining traction in Congress that would make Medicare coverage of telehealth permanent.