Digital health accelerator Pulse launches in Boston

Boston’s importance in digital health grows with the launch of a new digital health accelerator programme.

Pulse is an accelerator programme focused on digital health start-ups run by MassChallenge, itself a start-up accelerator.

The programme will give digital health start-ups from anywhere in the world the opportunity to take a portion of a $250,000 pot to help grow their businesses, along with office space in Boston, expert mentorship, and the chance to partner organisations spanning the healthcare, technology and life sciences sectors.

Aspiring start-ups now have until 20 October to submit their applications and must have less than $5 million in funding and revenue, respectively.

The accelerator’s launch event featured 10 reverse pitches from big organisations looking for start-up partners. Among the companies was audio equipment specialist Bose, which declared its interest in the Internet of Things market. The company is looking to develop new sensors similar to those that feature in its Pulse Wireless earphones that feature a heart rate monitor.

Microsoft also pitched for start-ups focused on machine learning and artificial intelligence. Vertex Pharmaceuticals represented the pharmaceutical sector, pitching its interest in start-ups that could help improve the understanding of Huntington’s and multiple sclerosis progression, and how that could speed up drug development.

Other topics pitched included chronic disease management, helping caregivers, sexual health, and addiction and recovery.

Although the San Francisco Bay and New York City Metro areas are still the top regions for digital health start-up investment, Boston is regarded as an emerging digital health hotbed. In a report released in July this year by Startup Health, Boston sat fourth in the top 10 most active areas for digital health funding, with 10 deals amounting to a total of $131 million.

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