Discover startups that have made the Midwest the center of a health tech wave
Everywhere you look in Ohio there’s evidence of a booming health tech industry: early-stage startups, renowned health care providers and programs, even an entire corridor dedicated to supporting biotech and research institutions. It’s no surprise, then, that Ohio is leading the charge in developing cutting-edge technologies to better service the health of their communities and people around the world. So, who are the movers and shakers that have made Ohio the epicenter of a health tech revolution? Here, we reflect on the vision and successes of key industry players and their contributions to the innovation that defines the region.
Nationwide Gene Therapy: Celenex
Nationwide Children’s Hospital is a Columbus health care staple. As the nation’s largest children’s hospital, they’ve long led the way in researching and developing new treatments that go beyond the lab and bring clinical discoveries to the bedside. Case in point: Children’s recently received $4.7 million from the acquisition of a gene therapy spinoff, Celenex Inc. The therapy is designed to be a curative treatment for Batten disease, a rare genetic disorder. For the technology commercialization office at Children’s, the licensing income is just another way to put money back into their research enterprise and continue their mission of helping children far and wide. While the hospital pioneers gene and pediatric research, they continue to emphasize the importance of community-first care and make this heart-shaped state a health tech force.
Another Columbus company with a Nationwide Children’s Hospital connection is Deep Lens, an AI-driven digital pathology platform that mimics how a pathologist works with a microscope to help diagnose patients earlier. After closing their seed round funding at $3.5 million, the health care startup continues to fuse Ohio talent and innovation. With support from Rev1 Ventures and the Technology Validation and Startup Fund through Ohio Third Frontier, they’ve helped push precision research to new heights.
“Coupling the health tech environment with premier health systems and academic centers creates a significant sandbox to build these innovative technologies,” said CEO and co-founder Dave Billiter. “When you break down how Deep Lens came about, besides outside investors, everything is driven out of Ohio. The future of health care is coming out of Ohio, and I envision us being a center hub.”
As a part of that center hub, Deep Lens has their eye on revolutionizing personalized precision medicine and cementing Ohio’s place among the best in health tech.
In the first year since its launch, ScriptDrop is on track to earn $3 million in revenue, but that’s not the only thing this health tech company has on its radar. Founded by two former CoverMyMeds employees, ScriptDrop works to ensure that prescriptions aren’t left at the pharmacy by delivering them to patients and offering virtual reminders about when and how to take their medication. Their disruptive platform not only reduces the costs associated with “forgotten” prescriptions, it is also adopting blockchain technology to integrate patient data with digital coin offering that helps people stay on track with their medication. Recently named the “Silicon Valley of Crypto,” Ohio is paving the way in the blockchain revolution and ScriptDrop is poised to initiate this tech in the state’s health care space. By leading with innovation, the company’s co-founders hope to help one billion patients lower their prescription costs and make Ohio the center of the pharmaceutical revolution.
Of course, Ohio isn’t just for health tech platforms. Medical device companies like Enable Injections, which makes wearable, self-administered injection apparatuses, comprise a large part of the scene. With a $50 million series B funding round, it’s no surprise that investors across the nation are interested in the company’s mission of simplifying the way patients receive high volume/viscosity drugs. Even more promising: Enable Injections recently announced strategic partnerships with UCB and Apellis Pharmaceuticals in an effort to develop more patient-centric therapeutics. With moves like that, Enable Injections has remained an important player on the Ohio health startup scene and has helped elevate the medical device field to new levels.
Part of Cleveland’s Health Tech Corridor, OnShift is a health care software with chops. Named to the Weatherhead list of 100 fastest-growing companies for the fourth consecutive year, OnShift is making waves as management software catered to post-acute and senior living. By helping senior care services more effectively hire and retain workers, they hope to solve the workforce crisis that often plagues this area of health care. After being named to Deloitte’s Fast 500 as one of North America’s fastest-growing companies, OnShift has certainly made an name for themselves as one of the Health Tech Corridor’s companies that are changing the world.
With an abundance of innovation and drive, the intersection of health and technology in Ohio continues to make the state a top player in the field. As the future of different devices, platforms and software becomes reality, it’s no surprise that these companies have found a home in one of the most visionary regions in the country.