Chicago Sun Times: 10 startups likely to transform health tech

Sarah Doherty is a 26-year-old robotics entrepreneur on a mission to increase the safety of heart-valve replacements while saving hospitals money.

The Highland Park native teamed with Dr. Jeff Soble, a cardiologist and associate professor at Rush University Medical Center, to create TeleHealthRobotics.

The company is starting a clinical trial with 125 patients at Rush to test how well doctors at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York can use the company’s control software to move a robotic arm to do ultrasound on the patients in Chicago. The goal is to enable the robot to hold a probe over the patient when the patient ultimately has aortic-valve replacement — a market estimated at $1 billion worldwide.

TeleHealthRobotics will be introduced Tuesday as one of 10 health care technology startups accepted for membership intoMatter, a 25,000-square-foot accelerator slated to open in January and aimed at growing next-generation diagnostics, biopharma, health IT and medical device businesses.

The other inaugural members are:

  • AltaThera Pharmaceuticals: A specialty pharmaceutical company focused on alternative therapeutics for patients with rare, life-threatening diseases.
  • CareTree: A centralized, coordinated health record that is used like Facebook. Patients, caregivers, families or providers create a patient profile and invite others to access it.
  • Cancer IQ: A digital health company that aims to lower the barriers to personalized cancer care.
  • Coeus Health: Aims to become the “Intel inside” for digital health and to bring Coeus clinically proven content to the digital weight management market.
  • ProVazo: Has created an easy-to-use intravenous blood sampling system.
  • Qualia Health: Building software to let health care providers give patients personalized care plans between visits.
  • Regroup Therapy: Aims to eradicate mental health shortage areas across Illinois and the nation.
  • Resonance Medical: The company’s lead product gives cochlear implants improved battery life and clarity.
  • Sparrow Pharmaceuticals: Aims to develop drugs that haven’t made it past the clinical stage. The company will start with a drug for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a condition of fat deposits and inflammation in the liver that increases risk for liver cancer, liver transplant, heart attack and stroke. There are no drugs now approved to treat the condition.

Steven Collens, Matter CEO, said the accelerator chose a diverse group.

“The diversity of their technologies is representative of the community we are building at Matter, which also includes industry leaders, research institutions, health systems, physicians and investors,” he said.

Matter is evaluating applications on a rolling basis. Membership rates start at $150 per month and include access to Matter’s mentor network, classes and events designed to help entrepreneurs and innovators accelerate the growth of their