SXSW Accelerator: 5 startups you need to meet
Austin, TX –
Sound Scouts, an Australian-based business that developed
a DIY hearing test app that parents can download and run
for their children, emerged as the winner of the SXSW Accelerator
pitch competition in the digital health and wearables track,
according to an emailed announcement from the organizers.
The test is cleverly disguised as a game designed to create a
more interactive experience for kids but alert parents to any
hearing problems that warrant attention from healthcare professionals.
It wasn’t immediately clear what Sound Scouts’ plans for the U.S.
market are, but Founder Carolyn Mee said during her initial
presentation that she wants to make the product available to
adults and children around the world.
Although there was only one dedicated health track,
the technology behind a few of the other startup winners
have direct or indirect applications for healthcare as well.
Enterprise and Smart Data
Deep 6 AI developed technology to make it easier to match patients
with appropriate clinical trials through natural language processing
and artificial intelligence. The clinical trial recruitment process is one
of the most time consuming and costly aspects of drug development and
Deep 6 AI is one of several companies to take up the gauntlet of creating
a more streamlined process. Wout Brusselaers is the founder and CEO.
Security and Privacy
UnifyID uses data collected by sensors from an individual’s mobile
devices such as GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, barometer,
ambient light, and WiFi and Bluetooth signal telemetries to figure out what
makes the owner unique, according to the San Francisco company’s website.
The data is kept on the local device, is encrypted and anonymized. UnifyID’s
approach can also be applied to desktop and laptop computers. Given the
cybersecurity concerns in healthcare over the theft of personal health data it
seems like UnifyID’s approach could have useful applications in this sector.
Thimble.io in Buffalo, New York wants customers to discover
their inner engineer, their inner maker. A monthly subscription
gives users an electronics kit each month that teaches them how
to code, hack and construct electronic devices. By playing the
long game, stimulating young and older minds to use these kits
as stepping stones towards realizing their creative interests,
they could help create a new generation of software developers
and biomedical engineers wherever they might be.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Lampix shuns the goggles and other head gear that tends
to be associated with augmented and virtual reality. Instead,
it takes a more subtle approach. The company’s product lets
users adopt flat surfaces like a table to project a computer
screen and interact with the screen projection as if it’s a
touchscreen. As for healthcare applications, Lampix’s
platform could be used as another approach to gaming
technology for cognitive assessment to expanding health
literacy delivery tools.