UCSF-based Incubator Targeting Medicaid Population for Disruptive New Digital Therapeutics

Jan 28, 2020 |  Social Determinants of Health, Digital Therapeutic Technology, Medicaid, Underserved Patient Population, Virtual Reality

UCSF-based Incubator Targeting Medicaid Population for Disruptive New Digital Therapeutics

AppliedVR, a leading pioneer of therapeutic virtual reality (VR), and S.O.L.V.E. Health Tech, a health equity accelerator embedded within the University of California San Francisco, recently announced a collaboration research initiative to identify barriers and facilitators to digital therapeutics, including VR treatment from AppliedVR for vulnerable populations such as Medicaid patients. Underserved and diverse patient populations are unable to access health technology for various reasons and the joint effort, it is hoped, will help ensure that no patient is left behind in the digital health revolution.

The Collaborative Agreement

Under a Collaborative Agreement, S.O.L.V.E. Health Tech will conduct qualitative analyses by interviewing different healthcare practitioners on how to best integrate VR and novel digital health solutions into health systems that treat underserved populations. It is hoped that by identifying the barriers companies like AppliedVR can face when integrating novel treatment into health systems, the two organizations tend to improve health and reduce health expenditures for diverse populations.

Who is S.O.L.V.E. Health Tech?

Founded by Urmimala Sarkar, MD, MPH, UCSF Professor of Medicine, S.O.L.V.E. Health Tech was founded on the premise that the Medicaid population is the largest untapped market for health information technology, with more than $500 million spent annually. Companies that figure out how to truly reach low-income, diverse populations with health technology will do well and do good as reported on their website. They are the nation’s first health equity accelerator. Led by public health, information technology, health systems and communications experts, they possess what they position as a strong track record of partnering with digital health companies to improve their reach, usability, effectiveness and sustainability. 

Given biotech and pharma sponsors interest in outreach to underrepresented patient populations it could be interesting for such companies to get involved with this organization. S.O.L.V.E. Health Tech is affiliated with University of California, San Francisco.

Who is AppliedVR?

Positioned as “a new kind of healthcare company,” AppliedVR declares on its website to be pioneering the next generation of digital medicines through development of safe and effective virtual reality therapeutics (VRx) that improve clinical outcomes for patients with serious health conditions. Based in 2015 in the Los Angeles area, they report to have established world-class research and commercial partnerships and continue to build the infrastructure to establish VR as a standard of healthcare by 2025. They also report to be the first company to make VR widely available in clinical care, having immersed more than 30,000 patients in over 240 hospitals.

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