Epic, Kiio, HealthMyne & More: This Week’s Wisconsin Watchlist

Stay current on news from Wisconsin’s innovation community with these recent headlines:

—Epic Systems, a Verona-based developer of record-keeping tools for the healthcare industry, said virtual assistant software it created in tandem with Nuance Communications is now commercially available. The tools allow doctors and other care providers at hospitals and clinics that use Epic’s software to document information in patients’ electronic health records using their voices, rather than the keyboard and mouse, the companies said.

Nuance (NASDAQ: NUAN) is perhaps best known for its speech-to-text software; the Burlington, MA-based business sells some of these tools under its Dragon Medical brand.

A year ago, Epic showed off some of the progress it had made on voice-to-text functionality, which is aimed at helping both clinicians and patients. For example, someone might instruct their Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Echo device to order a prescription refill through Epic’s patient portal software, which can be set up to communicate with virtual assistants sold by Amazon and other companies.

—Madison-based Kiio shared the results of a yearlong pilot program it co-led with a Wisconsin health insurer that focused on lowering costs by improving care for patients with lower back pain.

Kiio, a startup developing software and hardware to help patients adhere to regimens for rehabilitating and preventing injuries, said program participants were given access to digital tools that recommended custom exercise routines based on the type of back pain patients were experiencing. Participants could also use the tools to receive coaching from employees of Quartz Health Solutions, a Sauk City-based insurer that led the pilot with Kiio.

Kiio said those enrolled in the program on average cost their care providers 55 percent less than a comparable group of lower back pain patients.

—Madison-based Total Administrative Services Corp. (TASC), which administers employee benefit programs for its business customers, has created a venture investing arm. It will invest in about eight to 12 startups over the next four years, said Jed White, managing director of TASC Ventures. The company’s venture arm will likely invest in startups that develop software and provide services in industries like human resources, insurance, and financial services, White said.

—HealthMyne said it entered into a joint development agreement with Mayo Clinic, under which it will evaluate HealthMyne’s tools for using imaging data to predict how patients will respond to different types of cancer treatments. Madison-based HealthMyne develops software that integrates medical imaging data and information from patients’ digital health records, while Mayo Clinic is a hospital and clinic network with locations Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona. Staff at a Mayo Clinic facility in Scottsdale, AZ, will evaluate a HealthMyne-developed software module that “automates response scoring and the tracking of cancerous lesions” over time and across episodes of care, HealthMyne said.

—Milwaukee-based Gener8tor, which runs training programs for—and invests in—startups, unveiled the four artists who are participating in the first class of a music accelerator it’s running with 88Nine Radio Milwaukee. Participants in the program, called Backline, each receive a $20,000 grant, plus mentorship from leaders in the music business throughout the 12-week program.

—Separately, Gener8tor brought Project North—a corporate innovation network it created in 2015 and has been expanding in the years since—out of stealth mode. Dozens of corporations … Next Page »

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