For the past twenty-two years, the MassTLC Leadership Awards have celebrated the best and the brightest of the Massachusetts technology ecosystem. The sixteen award categories, including a newly added category for the Massachusetts Growth Company of the Year, highlight the vitality, innovation and importance of the region’s internationally respected technology industry. In addition, for the first time, MassTLC will honor the visionary organizations that are pioneering digital transformations to innovate and re-imagine the future of the Commonwealth’s leading industries in the form of the newly created Digital Transformation awards category.
Winners will be announced at the All Stars of Tech Winners’ Celebration on November 6 at Fenway Park.
In the meantime, let us introduce you to the finalists and the incredible work that they are doing here in Massachusetts – and how they are changing the world.
In the words of their nominators, meet the 2019 “Digital Transformation in Healthcare” finalists.
Transforming What: Bento is a modern alternative to dental insurance. Organizations of all sizes are saving considerable money by replacing their dental insurance with a self-funded dental benefit powered by Bento, resulting in more accessible and easy-to-understand oral care and increased patient satisfaction. The company is disrupting the $120 billion dental insurance market.
How Technology is Used: Bento’s app helps patients to manage their dental life in one convenient spot – their smartphones. Through the app, people can find dentists, manage appointments and payments, check their dental history, and rate their experience following a visit. The platform directly connects patients and dentists, which allows people to see the cost of care before they get it, virtually eliminating surprise bills and allowing them to get the care they need when they need it. On the dentist’s side, Bento’s technology helps dental offices connect directly with their patients, perform services when patients need them and get paid within a week. Additionally, in the dentist portal, they get the same pricing information as the patient, so there’s no more confusion on who owes what. When treatments are complete, money is automatically withdrawn directly from the employer’s bank account and deposited into the dentist’s bank account.
Why it Matters: With Bento, employers are saving big money self-funding their dental benefit, instead of paying insurance premiums. This means that they only pay for the care their employees get. This saves employees significantly, because over 90 percent of employees don’t utilize their full dental benefits annually, giving the employers the option to repurpose those dollars to other benefit offerings. Dental insurance was created in the 1950s and has remained virtually unchanged since. Bento’s platform is a massive leap forward in an industry that desperately needs a dose of modernity.
Transforming What: mARk helps patients and families manage the complex world of medical supplies and equipment after discharge. mARk’s Augmented Reality (AR) feature lets users “place” medical equipment in their home before it arrives, helping them see where devices may or may not fit, how they will look, and even how they will sound – preparing families for some of the major changes that will soon occur in their home.
How Technology is Used: The app leverages exact 3D models and sound files for each piece of equipment in order to make the experience as life-like as possible. mARk also supports ongoing supply & device management, with features that: teach users how to safely use the equipment via helpful resources and equipment-specific content; help users understand warnings & device errors and how to address them; support all aspects of communication, including contact management for every situation & every piece of equipment; and allow users to (re)order supplies or devices directly through the app.
Why it Matters: Nearly 60% of patient families treated at Boston Children’s Hospital are discharged with medical equipment and/or supplies. Not only do these families have to adjust to having all of this in their home, they are also expected to understand how to use these devices, manage all of the related communications with many different companies/individuals, and remember to reorder certain devices/supplies at specific intervals. mARk is the only all-in-one solution to help families with all aspects of medical supply and device management – starting before they even leave the hospital.
Transforming What: Onduo is transforming the way chronic care is delivered. Today patients are cared for in primary care but get no support between visits and when poorly managed they are escalated to an ER, inpatient, or a brick and mortar specialist. Onduo believes that health happens at home and that is where care should be delivered.
How Technology is Used: Onduo leverages software (Onduo app, telemedicine portal), hardware (continue glucose monitor and blood glucose monitor), and people (coaches, pharmacists, doctors) to deliver full stack care to people living with diabetes in the comfort of their home or place of work.
Why it Matters: The company has successfully improved all metrics in diabetes. The Onduo team is not building a widget or an app – they are building a way to transform brick and mortar specialty care.
Transforming What: Virtudent is transforming dental delivery, making preventative dental care more accessible and convenient for busy, working adults. The company brings high-quality, preventative dental care on site to workplaces so employees can take care of their oral health in less than an hour during their work day. Virtudent is a no-cost perk; they do not charge the company, and there’s no additional cost to the patient. Virtudent bills their dental insurance the same way a traditional dentist would.
How Technology is Used: Virtudent operates completely as a teledental solution. The company does not have a dentist physically on site, and patients never physically see the dentist which saves some from the anxiety they feel with a traditional dental experience. However, with teledentistry Virtudent Registered Dental Hygienists have access to a dentist during each appointment and every patient’s x-rays, intraoral photos, hygienist notes are reviewed by board certified dentists.The dentist will then send a recommendation to the patient with any diagnosis and recommended follow up treatment and/or prescriptions. Dentists are available for patients needs during office hours as well as 24/7 via an emergency call line. Additionally, Virtudent developed a kit that is about the size of an airline beverage cart which is self-containing and holds everything a hygienist needs to complete preventative care appointments.The kit includes: a patient chair, hygienist chair, cavitron, individually wrapped traditional tools for each patient, suction, intraoral camera, nomad x-ray machine, computer, lead vests for patient and hygienist, a 2L water supply, gloves, sanitation supplies, welcome mat, sign for the door to ensure people don’t interrupt appointments, curtains to provide privacy, masks for the hygienist, etc. By creating the kit Virtudent is able to come in, transform any 10×10 or larger space into a preventative dental office for the day, and leave without anyone knowing they were ever there.
Why it Matters: Bringing Virtudent on site as a no-cost perk helps companies increase productivity and may lower overall cost for the company and their employees.The average patient receiving preventative care spends 3 hours away from work for their dental appointment every 6mos. Virtudent saves patients time and energy by bringing the appointment into the workplace.
Transforming What: As health systems are increasingly called upon to address the full spectrum of needs for all patients – both inside and outside the hospital walls – Wellist identified an opportunity to transform what it means to “care” for a patient. Only 20% of patient outcomes are tied to clinical care, an astounding statistic that highlights a profound gap in healthcare delivery. Traditionally, social work departments have focused their limited resources on high-need, high-risk patients, while nurses and front-line staff attempt to help patients with issues including transportation, home care and nutrition. The tools used by social workers, nurses and staff are primitive at best, typically consisting of a three-ring binder or a handwritten list of resources. The Wellist platform aggregates thousands of resources and services, as well as clinical information, which are then personalized for individual patients based on their specific needs. Wellist is helping redefine and improve the patient care journey.
How Technology is Used: Wellist uses a sophisticated algorithm and data about the patient to identify needs before they are discovered, proactively make recommendations for services to support the care journey, identify opportunities to engage the patient and caregiver’s communities and extend the caring arm of the hospital beyond its four walls.The app supports the user from diagnosis, to treatment and into recovery. It adapts as needs change and follows the patient and caregivers through specific health episodes ranging from childbirth to cancer treatment.
Why it Matters: With Wellist, the love, care and support found at the hospital is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and to a wider range of individuals. The results are outstanding with patients, caregivers and communities being happier and healthier. Leveraging this technology, hospitals are no longer confined to physical locales, but can support patients in a broader capacity and with even greater impact.