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Digital startups working with Hartford HealthCare to help bridge health inequities

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Hartford HealthCare is looking to help close the health inequities gap by supporting digital startups.

The pandemic years have increased health disparities, said Dr. Barry Stein, chief clinical innovation officer at Hartford HealthCare.

“The mortality rate between one ZIP code next to another can be as much as 15 to 20 years,” Stein said.

Those inequities include differences in maternal mortality rates, cancer death rates by race and the management of diabetes and hypertension.

Hartford HealthCare wants to help close the gap by supporting digital startups. Five health care startups have been selected: Bloomlife, CareAdvisors, NourishedRx, Sonavi Labs and Viora Health.

Bloomlife has a monitoring device that’s placed on the abdomen of pregnant patients that can alert doctors in real time.

“And for that alarm to go to the provider, so that they can intervene more quickly in the hope of improving maternal fetal outcome in those that are less privileged,” Stein said.

Startups will have access to Hartford HealthCare’s clinicians and learn about the health network’s revenue cycle, compliance and information technology. Stein said the goal is “to be able to be accepted in the marketplace, integrated into the marketplace, and a product that the marketplace will be willing to pay for.”

Partners include CT Next, Launch Hartford and Trinity College. The group invested a combined $300,000, with Hartford HealthCare pitching in $75,000.

Hartford HealthCare is a funder of Connecticut Public.

Sujata Srinivasan is Connecticut Public Radio’s senior health reporter. Prior to that, she was a senior producer for Where We Live, a newsroom editor, and from 2010-2014, a business reporter for the station.

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