A recent edition of Seven Days, an independent newspaper, detailed the growing health tech sector that is setting up shop in this quiet northeastern state. Matt Berg, the founder of the health tech company Ona, told Seven Days that he was attracted to Vermont’s entrepreneurial and innovative culture.
“It felt like a great place to attract people, which is a competitive advantage,” Berg said.
While Berg only recently moved to Burlington with his family, he told Seven Days that he is already looking forward to working with ThinkMD and OhMD, two Vermont-based companies that are leveraging technology to help both patients and physicians.
While no one has assembled a complete list of health tech companies in Vermont, one industry leader estimates that there are more than 20 in the state focused on developing health and wellness technologies, ranging from medical devices to software.
Following are a few health tech companies that have made their home in Vermont.
While founder and CEO Berg lives in Burlington, his health-tech company Ona is based in Nairobi, Kenya. Focused on humanitarian aid and global health projects, the company describes itself as a “social enterprise” that uses data infrastructure and other technology to help government and development organizations to achieve better patient outcomes using epidemiological tracking.
For example, in 2014 Ona was contracted to manage data during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. More than 1,000 people had already died from the deadly virus, and government leaders, aid organizations, and health experts were trying to contain Ebola and quell fears that further outbreaks could spread the disease around the world.
Ona’s flagship product, Ona Data, was implemented in Sierra Leone and Liberia to assist in efforts to control the Ebola viral infection. Health care workers used Ona Data to implement checklists at care facilities that enforced protocols designed to keep health care workers from contracting Ebola by mapping and enforcing quarantine of homes where people had tested positive for Ebola.
The company has also mapped earthquake damage in Nepal, supported humanitarian programs in Somalia, and helped measure the effectiveness of a vaccination program in Kenya.
In recognition of his achievements, Berg has been recognized by Time magazine as one of the most influential people in the world.
The company was founded in 2014 by two pediatricians seeking to address the global shortage of health care professionals and to draw attention to issues relating to the delivery of health care. Now based in South Burlington, ThinkMD employs engineers, health specialists, clinicians, and data experts to build new systems that are designed to better manage and deliver health care around the world. The company envisions that these new approaches will provide better access to health across the globe.
3. Mach7 Technologies
Also based in South Burlington, Mach7 Technologies builds enterprise imaging solutions that allow health care organizations to access and share patient data within their own “clinical ecosystems.” This allows health care providers to improve their workflow and productivity, save on technology costs, and achieve better regulatory compliance. Providers typically see improved patient outcomes as health care providers gain more efficient access to patients’ medical information.
4. Galen Healthcare Solutions
Established in 2005, Galen Healthcare Solutions has worked with hundreds of clients, including large medical centers and specialty practices, to improve their integration and management of health care records. This may mean developing a custom application, migrating data, or managing a project for the provider.
5. Physician’s Computer Company
While Physician’s Computer Company (PCC) employees work all over the country, this company’s headquarters is in Winooski, Vermont. Physician’s Computer Company, which was founded in 1983, focuses on helping pediatric practices to use software and hardware solutions to stay competitive. PCC develops software solutions to assist with practice management needs and to create faster networks for its clients.
PCC retains a focus on its own community, where it supports nonprofit organizations and other groups that advocate for children’s health. Believing in the value of work-balance in pediatrics, the company promotes a reasonable work schedule and meaningful life choices among its employees.
Leaders in the health tech field do not foresee any decrease in interest in the field, as health care suppliers are looking for more efficient ways to deliver effective care to offset rising costs. Today’s health sector features a health venture capital environment and a movement to provide more health care outside of the clinical setting through apps and other self-help innovations.