Tag: emocha


Expanding emocha Mobile Health Relocates to New Baltimore Offices

Expanding emocha Mobile Health relocates to new Baltimore offices

May 6, 2019

emocha Mobile Health has three offices at FastForward 1812, and CEO Sebastian Seiguer jokes the company would gladly take another two. After five years as an anchor tenant at Johns Hopkins innovator hubs near the East Baltimore campus, however, emocha is ready for its own space.

The company will relocate its headquarters in Baltimore to the 900 block of North Charles Street in Mount Vernon as of May 6.

“We wanted space that would be comfortable now, but could also fit more people in the future,” says Seiguer, adding that the company will be growing from 17 employees to 24 in the months to come.

The new 5,000-square-foot office has an open floor plan and is located close to where many emocha employees live, he says.

Sebastian Seiguer, CEO of emocha Mobile Health (Photo provided)

“In terms of developing culture, it’s about the time to define that with physical space,” says Seiguer. “Otherwise, I’d stay in FastForward as long as possible.”

emocha was founded in 2014 based on technology developed in part by Robert Bollinger, the Raj and Kamla Gupta Professor of Infectious Diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The company’s technology, now used across the United States, allows for remote management of patients, via mobile devices, by researchers and clinicians and provides real-time access to visualize, manage and analyze patient data.

The company’s software platform is being used by more than a dozen ongoing research studies at Johns Hopkins. In January, emocha and Johns Hopkins received a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a study to determine if financial incentives improve the likelihood that patients with opioid use disorder will stick with their treatment plans.

“Adherence is a quickly developing area,” says Seiguer. “It’s been neglected for a long time. Now, you’re starting to see a lot more attention paid to adherence as a way to reduce costs and improve the health of patients.”

emocha began operations at DreamIt Health Baltimore, a Johns Hopkins-run accelerator. It moved to the Emerging Technology Centers incubator before occupying FastForward offices. It was one of the first tenants when FastForward 1812 opened two years ago.

“emocha and FastForward have grown up together, and it’s with a great deal of pride and a tinge of sadness that we watch emocha take the next step,” says Brian Stansky, senior director of FastForward. “It’s been a privilege to watch them grow both as a team and as a business.”

Seiguer says he appreciates how FastForward’s suite of support services assisted the company with administrative tasks, allowing it to focus on growing the business. That job was also made easier thanks to connections fostered through Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures.

“We got opportunities (at FastForward) by visitors coming into the space, whether they were government or other companies, which we would never get access to. And that’s been a huge help for us,” he says.

Two of emocha’s primary investors came through pitch meetings set up by JHTV, and Seiguer says it would have been difficult for a startup like emocha to have the chance to meet with officials from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services or large pharmaceutical companies without being at FastForward.

“Just sitting here, every once in a while you’re going to get some cool opportunities,” he says.

Seiguer says he will miss the startup community at FastForward, in addition to the proximity to Johns Hopkins. Stansky says he will miss having Seiguer on-site to serve as a friend, adviser and mentor to other startups and the JHTV team.

“His impact on the greater ecosystem extends well beyond his immediate role leading emocha,” says Stansky.

In its new office space, emocha will continue its work in the public health market while also moving into the community health space, according to Seiguer. The company also has started contracting with customers on the insurance and clinical sides.


Good News: February 2018

Good News: February 2018

Startup News

    • Shortly after raising $11 million in series B funding, Protenus CEO Nick Culbertson announced that the Baltimore startup plans to nearly double the size of its team. Culbertson said the 30 hires will likely be sourced locally. The FastForward startup analyzes and protects health care data for health systems across the country and saw its revenue grow twentyfold in 2017. Technical.ly


    • The Maryland Tech Council named two FastForward companies among the finalists for its annual Industry Awards Celebration. Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx) is vying to be named Life Science Company of the Year, and its CEO Doug Ward is up for Chief Executive Officer of the Year. Protenus is a finalist for the Emerging Company of the Year award. The Maryland Tech Council will announce the winners on May 17. Maryland Tech Council


    • According to a synopsis from Protenus, health care organizations reported 477 data breaches to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the media. These breaches affected 5.6 million patient records. Healthcare Informatics


    • Inspired by his mother’s experience managing multiple chronic conditions, Sathya Elumalai is developing a portable, handheld device that records key vital signs in just 30 seconds. Elumalai is commercializing the technology through his FastForward startup Multisensor Diagnostics. TMC News


    • BurnAlong, a fitness startup that participated in the M-1 Ventures accelerator, announced that it raised $1 million in an oversubscribed round. Based in Owings Mills, MD, BurnAlong offers streaming fitness classes through partnerships with fitness instructors and gyms. Technical.ly


    • Emocha Mobile Health, a tenant in FastForward 1812, hired Thomas A. Carroll as its chief operating officer. Carroll, who co-founded RuxtonPark Healthcare Capital, will help the company expand into new markets among other duties. MobiHealthNews,Technical.ly


    • Fast Company named emocha Mobile Health one of its 10 most innovative businesses in the health sector, citing its technology that makes “medication management mobile-friendly.” Other brands ranked alongside emocha include CVS Health and 23andMe. Fast Company


    • Sunrise Health and b.well are two of 24 digital health startups participating in the Texas Medical Center Accelerator. Founded by Johns Hopkins students and a member of the Social Innovation Lab’s 2016-2017 cohort, Sunrise provides text-based group support for behavioral health patients that utilizes artificial intelligence tools. One of two winners of $25,000 at the M-1 Ventures accelerator, b.well aggregates patient health care data by providing incentivized care coordination, along with concierge and matching services. MedCity News


    • The St. Louis-based accelerator program Capital Innovators selected FastForward startup Vision Interchange as one of six startups in its spring investment round. The 12-week program will provide the e-commerce company that lets consumers trade eyewear with a $100,000 investment. KMOX

Social Ventures

    • Alex Riehm has taken over as the director of SIL. Formerly a deputy director with the U.S. Agency for International Development, Riehm assumed the SIL leadership role in November and aims to build a “continuum of service for anyone with a good idea in Baltimore.” Technical.ly


    • Baltimore Magazine’s list of 30 visionaries who are shaping the city’s future. The publication recognized FactoryFour CEO Param Shah for his work to bring manufacturing into the digital age. Shantell Roberts received recognition for her work through Touching Young Lives which provides safe sleeping spaces for babies. Baltimore Magazine


    • A member of the 2017-2018 SIL cohort, Mera Kitchen Collective has pop-up dinners, offers catering and hosts other food-focused events as a means of empowering Baltimore’s refugee and immigrant community. In a podcast, the Mera Kitchen Collective team explains Baltimore’s long-time role as a haven for refugees, the state of the city’s refugee community and how its efforts will help this population overcome barriers. Cureate


    • A member of this year’s SIL cohort, Hosts for Humanity matches volunteer hosts with patient families seeking a place to stay while loved ones receive care at local medical institutions. Since January 6, the venture has placed four people with hosts for a total of 40 days, saving the families over $5,600. Baltimore Business Journal (subscription required)

Innovation News

    • A single experimental blood test called CancerSEEK could one day enable clinicians to simultaneously screen for multiple early stage tumors. The test detected 98 percent of ovarian and liver tumors. Joshua Cohen, a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine student, says the test will need to be validated in a more real-world setting. BioWorld Today


    • A technology that focuses ultrasound waves could be tomorrow’s solution for treating brain tumors. A group of entrepreneurs from Johns Hopkins are looking to build on the Hopkins-born idea, which would serve as an alternative to invasive surgery. The group has received $250,000 in grant funding from TEDCO and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation.
      Baltimore Business Journal

Johns Hopkins News

    • A $50 million gift from the United Arab Emirates has enabled Johns Hopkins to establish a new institute for stroke research and clinical care. The Sheikh Khalifa Stroke Institute in Baltimore will use engineering skills, artificial intelligence and precision medicine to improve diagnoses, treatments and restorative functions for stroke patients. Baltimore Business Journal


    • A private developer will receive $800,000 in state grants to help complete 15,000 square feet of retail space at the new Marriott Residence Inn on Johns Hopkins’ East Baltimore campus. This is the latest investment in the East Baltimore Development Inc.’s redevelopment of the Eager Park community. Baltimore Business Journal


    • To kick off the spring semester, four dozen Johns Hopkins underclassmen visited workplaces across Baltimore to gain a better understanding of what it’s like to work in city government, health care and other industries. The tour included a visit to a FastForward U innovation hub, which provides space and co-working opportunities for student innovators and entrepreneurs. The Hub

Baltimore News

    • Southwest: The Magazine hailed Baltimore as “the city you’re missing” and “the most underrated city in America” in its issue released on February 1. The magazine’s editorial director touted the city’s strong entrepreneurial spirit, hip workspaces, burgeoning arts scene, friendliness and foodie scene. Baltimore Sun


    • The Maryland General Assembly is considering a bill that would incentivize making early-stage investments into local startups by offering angel investors tax credits. Del. Brooke Lierman, the bill’s lead sponsor, says, “We want to make sure we can capitalize on (Maryland’s growing number of startups) and on the growing entrepreneurial spirit in Maryland.” Baltimore Business Journal, Technical.ly


    • Eight startups will compete for $100,000 in prizes at the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Up/Start Venture Competition. The third annual event was open to class of 2018 MICA students and alumni from the class of 2017. SIL’s Alex Riehm was one of the judges who selected the finalists. The finale will occur on April 4. Baltimore Business Journal


    • A new innovation space in Baltimore’s Station North neighborhood has begun growing a number of businesses in Baltimore. The CO-OP at Maryland Ave. opened in 2017 and already has a number of tenants, including a steel and metal broker, a carpet installer and a nonprofit. Technical.ly


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