What a year 2015 was for Melon! We partnered with some of the biggest names in healthcare, called Kansas City home for three months, and re-launched our brand as Melon Health. Here’s a month-by-month breakdown of our action packed year:
We kicked off the year with an invitation to attend the Market R&D Pilot Challenge. This was a great opportunity to sit down face-to-face with the decision makers of San Francisco Bay Area’s healthcare organizations. Events such as Market R&D Pilot Challenge, which fosters warm introductions between start-ups and large organizations are invaluable to fast-track innovation into the healthcare industry. Read more about our Market R&D experience.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a life-threatening genetic disease affecting approximately 75,000 people worldwide. It is recommended for people living with CF to avoid physical contact with each other due to the risk of cross-infection. Using Melon Health’s platform, we developed an online community and health management tool called Breathr, to help CF patients connect without the risk of infection. Breathr is designed specifically for young people with CF who are transitioning into adulthood. In February 2015, Breathr was announced as one of the top three in Health2.0’s Technology for Cystic Fibrosis Life Transitions Challenge. Find out more about Breathr.
We achieved a huge milestone in 2015 when we were selected as one of ten companies to be part of Sprint Accelerator powered by Techstars. This three months long, intensive accelerator program saw half of our team move to Kansas City, Missouri. There, we were under the tutelage of start-up veterans including John Fein, David Cohen and David Brown as we packed in one year’s worth of growth into just 90 days.
Back in New Zealand, we were named as a finalist at the NZ Hi-Tech Awards.
At our San Francisco office, we were busy preparing for the annual YTH Live conference, focusing on the crossroads of youth and technology in the healthcare sector. We were invited to give three talks (smoking cessation, reducing binge drinking and depression), based on our experience in using mobile technology to help improve health outcomes. Read more about our YTH Live presentations.
The Techstars program ended in June with a bang at Demo Day. The 10 start-ups showcased the projects, partnerships and traction we achieved over the 3 months we spent in Kansas City. For us, Demo Day was an especially momentous occasion because we officially became Melon Health. Read more about our name change and Demo Day.
Months and months of hard work resulted in a huge milestone in July; the pre-diabetes trial using Melon technology began in New Zealand. Our partner, Midlands Health Network, service nearly half a million patients across their 97 clinics. We are excited by the preliminary results and look forward to sharing the outcomes with you in the first quarter of 2016.
Through the amazing network provided by Techstars and Spring Accelerator, we were able call Jeff Stafford, Chief Financial Officer of United Healthcare (UHC) Kansas one of our mentors. Through the guidance and hard work of Jeff and his team, Melon was able to secure a pilot with UHC Kansas. Forming a partnership with a payer was one of the key goals we had set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. This opportunity with UHC was one of the biggest wins for our team in 2015.
As a one of Techstars’ alumni, we were given the opportunity to apply for the Techstars++ Mayo Partnership program 2015, an opportunity to spend 3 and a half weeks in Rochester, Minnesota working alongside some of the top physicians in the country. We were thrilled to be accepted into the program and received positive feedback from physicians excited about using Melon’s platform to improve health outcomes and patient visit efficiency. We are now progressing several opportunities with Mayo.
Stanford MedX was also held in September, and Melon was once again invited to hold a workshop and also a poster session presentation. Thank you to all attendees of our poster presentation, Using Social Media to Quit Smoking: A Smartphone Application for Smoking Cessation and our workshop, Online Community Management Best Practice: Managing Supportive and Engaged Online Patient Communities.
Melon was invited to participate in a panel session at the annual Health 2.0 Fall Conference in Silicon Valley, CA. It was the largest Health 2.0 conference yet, full of discussions about the impact technology has had on the healthcare industry in the past year. We also came away with lots of exciting information about new developments we can expect in 2016. Read more about our visit to the conference.
‘Flip the Clinic’ is a Robert Woods Johnson Foundation initiative which brings together people from all touchpoints of the healthcare experience (patients, clinicians, health IT, etc) to rethink the medical encounter between patients and clinicians. Read more about the Melon team’s Flip the Clinic solution here.
December was an opportunity to pause and reflect on our year to date, and prepare for an exciting year ahead which kicked off with events surrounding the JPMorgan Conference in San Francisco in January 2016. Stay tuned as we pick up where we’ve left off, and catch you up on what is already proving to be a very fast and frenetic 2016.
“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.” -Rainer Maria Rilke
Happy new year from the Melon Health team!