Category: Startups


Urban Pastoral and Fusiform CEOs Among Baltimore’s 40 Under…

The Baltimore Business Journal’s latest 40 Under 40 list released Tuesday is teeming with talent, including two entrepreneurs who have grown their start-ups with assistance from Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures.

Urban Pastoral CEO and founder J.J. Reidy and Fusiform CEO and co-founder Param Shah were named to an impressive list featuring Baltimore’s most talented young people in business.

Reidy, 28, holds an MBA from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and grew his startup in the Social Innovation Lab. Founded in 2014, Urban Pastoral has flourished in its work to re-engineer how city residents get produce. Urban Pastoral has ignited Baltimore’s food economy by integrating high-tech agricultural production, complementary food businesses and workforce development opportunities into underutilized urban spaces. BoxUp, one of Reidy’s more notable agricultural initiatives, uses a 320-square-foot shipping container to house a hydroponic garden that grows 60-80 pounds of produce per week from 10 gallons of recycled water and 80 kilowatt hours of electricity a day.

Shah, 20, a junior computer science major at The Johns Hopkins University, used an experience in high school in which he saw children in India with ill-fitting orthotics to revolutionize the orthopedic device supply chain. His growing company is helping move outdated orthopedic practices into the 21st century with technologies that maximize clinic efficiency by digitizing order forms, replace hour-long hand-casting sessions with a 10-minute 3-D scan and automate the manufacturing of custom orthopedic devices.

The Baltimore Business Journal whittled the list down to 40 from more than 250 nominations. In its announcement post, the publication wrote of the 40 honorees, “They are Greater Baltimore businesspeople who have excelled quickly within their fields, engaged with the community and made a name for themselves all before the age of 40.”


Emocha brings TB adherence tech to California as part…

Emocha, a digital health startup seeking to create more flexibility for tuberculosis patients to meet the requirements for Directly Observed Therapy, or DOT, has added a new set of customers in California as part of a national expansion.

DOT is the internationally recommended strategy for controlling tuberculosis. The relevant bit here is that a physician or nurse observes TB patients taking their medication to ensure adherence and reduce the risk of the patient developing a resistance to the drug regimen to treat their condition.

In a news release, emocha noted that Fresno County, Merced County, and Contra Costa County in California would use the company’s miDOT application for asynchronous video directly observed therapy to help manage patients’ adherence to their TB drugs. The miDOT application allows users to record themselves on a smartphone or computer taking medication and transmit that data to a physician. The product also allows them to securely share information on side effects.

In a phone interview, Managing Director Morad Elmi confirmed that each of the counties are customers and that Contra Costa County would also adopt an app emocha developed to keep a close eye on potential measles outbreaks, called Outbreak Symptoms Monitoring. The app has the flexibility to track other communicable diseases such as Middle East respiratory syndrome.

California Department of Health data cited in the news release indicated that nearly 2.4 million Californians — more than 6 percent of the state’s population — have latent tuberculosis infection. This group of patients pose a risk because although they are infected with the bacteria, they do not show symptoms.

In addition to California, the Baltimore-based company has customers in Texas and Maryland as well as India and Australia. Elmi said he expects the company to add at least three more states by the end of the year.

Emocha, which took part in Dreamit’s health tech accelerator cohort in Baltimore, isn’t the only company that’s developed a video selfie for medication adherence. AiCure’s approach combines video facial recognition and artificial intelligence to confirm that patients have taken their medication. While emocha has worked with county health departments, AiCure built a network of pharmaceutical companies and government institution partners to optimize treatment models.

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