Nishi Viswanathan, director, Texas Health Catalyst at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, presenting at its Demo Day 2018.

The Texas Health Catalyst held its Demo Day Tuesday afternoon with 13 early-stage ventures showcasing their new projects.

“These are really, really early innovations,” said Nishi Viswanathan, director, Texas Health Catalyst at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. They are still figuring out if they clinically viable projects, she said.

The Demo Day 2018 class consisted of UT Austin and Dell Medical Faculty, graduate students and Austin Startups. The invitation-only event took place in the auditorium at the Edgar R. Smith Building at the Blanton Museum of Art.

So far, the program has received 220 applications, provided 24 consulting awards and $590,000 in funding to 16 projects. It relies on 225 plus clinical and business advisors who have volunteered 5000 plus hours during the last three years.

Each startup addressed an unmet need and a pain point in the medical industry, Viswanathan said. The startups focused on devices, diagnostics, therapeutics, and digital health.

Each presenter gave a five-minute pitch about their project.

CLOXERO – First up, Ashlee Brunaugh, UT Austin College of Pharmacy, presented Cloxero, a student-led startup that aims to treat Non-Tuberculous Mycobacterial infections with an antibiotic formulation that delivers high concentrations of the drug at the site of infection through a portable inhaler device. Cloxero has reduced side effects and faster treatment times, Brunaugh said. Non-Tuberculous Mycobacterial is classified by the Food and Drug Administration as an Orphan Disease, meaning it affects less than 200,000 people in the U.S. The startup has received funding from the Texas Health Catalyst fund and a $3.5 million from a National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research, known as SBIR, grant.

GALILEO – Next, Abhijeet Pradhan, CEO, Galileo Clinical Decision Support, presented its intelligent assistant for radiologists. It can view an image, suggest most likely diagnosis including rare conditions, and draft a report. Galileo uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analysis to make recommendations for radiology cases. Dr. Nick Bryan, chair of diagnostic medicine, Dell Medical School, is the founder, chairman and chief scientific officer.

DRUG DELIVERY – Bryan Davies, assistant professor, UT Austin College of Natural Sciences, presented a project to deliver neuro-pharmaceuticals to bypass the blood-brain barrier. He’s working on the project with Colleen Mulvihill, UT Austin College of Natural Sciences.

DRUG ADHERENCE – Tyler Gums, assistant professor, UT Austin College of Pharmacy, presented his predictive model and clinical decision support for medication non-adherence. Patients not taking their medication is a huge problem, especially prevalent with patients not taking their blood pressure medication properly. Gums led a pilot study for patients suffering from hypertension with mixed results. The clinicians liked the model but didn’t follow it strictly, he said. He’s making revisions and launching a new pilot soon.

DIAGNOSTIC TOOL – Sina Haeri, assistant professor of women’s Health, Dell Medical School, presented a quick and cost-effective diagnostic tool to measure blood loss during hemorrhage after childbirth. It’s a hand-held hemoglobin tester that will tell whether the mom is in trouble or not. “It’s unacceptable that these many moms are dying from something that’s preventable,” Haeri said. He’s working on the diagnostic device with Thomas Milner, professor, UT Austin Cockrell School of Engineering. They are focusing on providing access to care for women and a timely diagnosis. They are focused on rural areas in the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa.

ENZYME-BASED CANCER THERAPEUTIC – Everett Stone, Ph.D., UT Austin College of Natural Sciences, presented enzyme-based cancer therapeutic to stimulate an immune response. The enzymes help boost the body’s immune system to eliminate cancer cells.

SEMPULSE – Kurt Stump, CEO of Sempulse, presented its sensor device to monitor vital signs in real time. It’s focused on the triage and trauma care for the military. The medical device attaches to the back of the ear and reads vital signs. The startup recently won the top prize at MassChallenge Texas and took home $100,000.

MEDNOXA – Evan Skowronski, Ph.D., MedNoxa, presented its “smart bandage,” which is an oxygenated bandage to prevent scarring and bacterial infections. Its CEO is Eric Frey, but he was in China and was unable to present, Skowronski said. The bandage is aimed at the $50 billion wound care market and, at Diabetic foot ulcers. But first, it’s going to pursue the cosmetic market, particularly C-section scars for women. They licensed the technology out of Perdue University and they hold the worldwide rights to the technology.

E-TATTOO – Daniel Sanchez, Ph.D. student, in the lab of Nanshu Lu, associate professor, UT Austin Cockrell School of Engineering, presented its smart e-tattoo blood pressure monitor. They are working with Joshua Chang, department of neurology and population health, Dell Medical School, to bring the device to market. It’s a tattoo-like sensor for continuous blood pressure monitor. It’s a disposable device that works for up to seven days monitoring a person’s heart rate. They have two patent applications and a proof of concept prototype. They plan to enter clinical trials and then to the FDA for approval and the commercial market.

John Uecker, MD, associate professor, Dell Medical School, CEO of ClearCam presented its laparoscopic cleaner that prevents lens fogging during surgery

CLEARCAM – John Uecker, MD, associate professor, Dell Medical School, CEO of ClearCam presented its laparoscopic cleaner that prevents lens fogging during surgery. He developed the device with Chris Rylander, associate professor, UT Austin Cockrell School of Engineering, CTO, ClearCam, Doug Stoakley, COO, ClearCam and Chris Idelson, Ph.D. candidate, UT Austin Cockrell School of Engineering, VP Engineering ClearCam.

MENTAL HEALTH PATIENT CARE APP – Kasey Claborn, Ph.D., Assistant professor, psychiatry, Dell Medical School, presented a patient care coordination app. She’s developing it with Avani Jhaveri, project coordinator, psychiatry, Dell Medical School. The U.S. experiences $193 billion in losses each year related to mental health issues and another $740 million in criminal acts and lost work related to substance abuse, Claborn said. The app would improve mental health treatment and referrals and allow for interoperability across systems.

ADVANCED SCANNERS – Jeff Levin, co-founder, CEO, Advanced Scanners, presented its real-time imaging and live brain animation technology during surgery to map brain shift. He’s developing it with Aaron Bernstein, Ph.D., research scientist, CTO Advanced Scanners and Lars Kuslich, biomedical engineer, Advanced Scanners. Brain shift is a difficult problem during surgery and small errors can lead to a lifetime of challenges for the patient and their families. They are working to get their project through clinical trials and into commercialization by 2020.

URGENT WELLNESS CARE – Freya Spielberg, Chief of Family Medicine, Dell Medical School, presented an urgent wellness care model to help low-income populations. She’s working on the project with Ofelia Zapapta, lead community implementation, president South East Memorial High School PTA. They want to place wellness clinics in schools and low-income housing communities to target populations that have serious challenges accessing healthcare. They also want to use medical vending machines with a critical point of care tests placed in those facilities.