J. Michael Bennett, MD • September 5, 2017

It’s that time of year again! The TMCx accelerator at the Texas Medical Center received over 200 applications for the incoming device cohort and 19 companies made the cut. This year’s class included a number of native Houston companies in addition to applicants from Boston, San Francisco, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Madison, Australia, and Canada. Over 300 attendees including physicians, advisors, investors, and entrepreneurs showed up in full force to support innovation at the Texas Medical Center Experts Forum.

All of the companies pitched novel solutions to problems within the healthcare sector. However there were ten companies that I believe addressed markets and trends in healthcare that stood out among the rest. This is my brief overview of the 10 best.

Orphidia

Orphidia has created a portable single blood drop diagnostic platform providing lab quality test results in 20 minutes utilizing microfluidic technology. 40 common lab tests can be provided using one chip. This portable device can provide an instant revenue stream for physician practices and taps into a potential 78 billion dollar marketplace. Currently seeking funding.

Polyvascular

Polyvascular specializes in polymeric transcatheter valves for children with congenital heart disease. These valves are easy to make, non-immunogenic, and expands with the growth of the child. The valves are placed utilizing a minimally invasive technique reducing the need for open heart surgery in children. Currently they are in the preclinical stage and the valves have been successful in animal studies.

iSono

iSono is making accessible, at-home breast health monitoring utilizing 3D ultrasound and artificial intelligence. Benefits include a portable, non-irradiating, 2 minute scan with the sensitivity for detecting lesions similar to ultrasound. FDA clearance and a pilot study is expected next year. This is a 30 billion dollar market and the company is currently raising a seed round.

Bitome

Bitome has developed a micro-magnetic MRI based diagnostic tool for non-invasive monitoring of the human hydration state particularly in those individuals with congestive heart or kidney failure. The portable device takes a three second read from the finger. The company is currently seeking seed funding.

Resthetics

Resthetics has created a patent protected device that converts waste anesthesia into a safe renewable resource that can be refurbished and sold to the original manufacturer at a fraction of the development cost. Currently seeking funding.

Vena Medical

The Canadian team of Vena Medical has developed a thin 1.3 French fiber optic camera that can provide real-time visibility through blood making vascular procedures faster, easier, and safer with less exposure to complications and unnecessary irradiation.

NanoEar

NanoEar is a minimally invasive, micro-implantable hearing aid that allows discreet, continuous use without the need for batteries. The company is positioned to disrupt the market by utilizing Direct Tympanic Modulation. The first prototype is expected in September. The company is currently seeking funding in their seed round.

Multisensor Diagnostics

MouthLab from Multisensor Diagnostics is a patent-protected portable device that measures multiple vitals signs by mouth (breath and saliva) in less than a minute. AI systems are then utilized to track changes or identify abnormalities. 400 million in potential revenue. The company is currently raising a $1.5 million seed round.

Alleviant Medical

With its genesis in TMC, Alleviant Medical is building a minimally-invasive transcatheter technology to treat congestive heart failure. It works by decompressing an overloaded left atrium through creating a shunt between the two atria. This is a $5 billion market. The company is currently conducting animal studies and expecting FDA clearance in 2019. They are raising a $1.5 million seed round.

Guidabot

Hailing from the Fannin Innovation Studio, Guidabot is an MRI-compatible robotic system that precisely targets areas of the brain with sub millimeter accuracy during minimally invasive neurosurgical procedures. Expecting FDA approval in 2020 and currently patent protected. Currently seeking funding.


This concludes my breakdown of the top ten, and I commend all 19 companies for accepting the TMCx challenge. I look forward to hearing from many of them as we begin the cohort. I also encourage all healthcare providers, investors, and entrepreneurs interested in this space to spend some time at the TMCx, attend the pitch event, get involved and become an advisor. Make sure to sign up for a free membership on the angelMD platform to gain access to the latest and greatest deals in this marketplace.

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Image Credit: TMCx