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Inspira, Rowan University award $20,000 to health care entrepreneurs

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The Health Hack judges listen carefully to an initial presentation made by a
team developing an Uber-like volunteer-staffed patient transportation service.
The Health Hack judges listen carefully to an initial presentation made by a team developing an Uber-like volunteer-staffed patient transportation service. - ()

The Inspira Health Network Innovation Fund and Rowan University jointly granted $20,000 in seed money to three health care entrepreneurs.

The awards were given after a two-day evaluation process, called the Health Hack event, in South Jersey Technology Park. It was sponsored by Republic Bank, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Cerner and the city of Glassboro.

Nine products were proposed by from physicians, information technology professionals, health care researchers, clinicians and graduate students. Proposing teams presented solutions including products designed to more-accurately diagnosis disease, personalized medications, and overcoming barriers to care such as transportation issues and the logistics of scheduling several appointments during the course of a day or week.

“The energy and creative forces that we witnessed at the Health Hack were the direct result of providing a venue for innovators from many disciplines to work together,” said John DiAngelo, CEO of Inspira Health Network, in a statement. “At the opening of the event, I told the participants I was counting on them. Their creative thinking and drive to improve patient care exceeded my expectations.”

Awards were given for:

  • Creating an Uber-like volunteer-staffed patient transportation service to increase care access, created by Rowan University’s Dr. Parth Bhavsar, research assistant professor in the Center for Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems, and Dr. Christopher Lacke, associate professor of mathematics;
  • Developing and testing a portable 3-D fluorescent microscope for quick dermatologic diagnosis that was developed by Rowan University’s Dr. Ben Wu, assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering; Yang Qi, a doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering at Rowan; and Dr. Xiao Hu, associate professor in Physics and Astronomy at Rowan; and
  • Using patient data to personalize treatment of chronic gastrointestinal disease, a system created by Rowan's Dr. Sangita Phadtare, associate professor, department of biomedical sciences at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Dr. Joshua DeSipio, assistant professor of Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Dr. Kirti Yenkie, assistant professor in chemical engineering at Rowan; and Dr. Manuel Pontes, professor in marketing and business information systems at Rowan.

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Vince Calio

Vince Calio


Vince Calio covers health care and manufacturing for NJBIZ. You can contact him at vcalio@njbiz.com.

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