NYCEDC And HITLAB Select Four Startups For Inaugural Digital Health Breakthrough Network

Digital Health Breakthrough Network Rapidly Pilots Technologies of New York City Startups with Real End Users, to Advance Healthcare, Create Jobs and Strengthen City’s Health Tech Sector

Next Application Round Now Open

Today, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and HITLAB announced the selection of four startups for the inaugural batch of the Digital Health Breakthrough Network, an initiative for rapid advancement of nascent health technologies through collaboration among members of New York City’s health and technology sectors. The winners feature companies working on a diverse array of innovative health technologies, including a wellness platform for addressing addiction recovery and a headband and accompanying app that facilitate muscle relaxation.    

The Digital Health Breakthrough Network works with up to four startups, twice annually, to design and deploy rapid pilots that stress-test their novel health technologies with real end users. Pilots conducted in partnership with key New York City healthcare service organizations and stakeholders—such as hospitals, physician clinics, pharmaceutical companies, nursing associations, large employers, and retailers—provide the early-stage companies with insights to scale or pivot as quickly as possible.    

All startups in the Network are pre-revenue or pre-Series A and participate to reach their next phase of growth, enable the creation of more jobs, strengthen the City’s already thriving healthcare sector, and improve health for New Yorkers and people around the world.

“The Digital Health Breakthrough Network will help advance technologies that could benefit thousands of New Yorkers, solve global medical challenges, drive job growth, and help diversify our City’s economy,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer.  “Healthcare is helping drive job creation in the City, with seven of our ten largest private-sector employers in this growing field. The Digital Health Breakthrough Network provides a pathway to success for many budding startups and will keep New York City on the cutting-edge of innovation.”

Spring 2016 Batch Startups and Technologies:

Twistor Labs: Addicaid

Addicaid is a personalized wellness platform for addressing addiction and recovery. Addicaid's analytics engine reveals trends, causes and effects of addiction and recovery that, combined with behavioral science insights, tailor engaging recovery programs for individuals. The platform serves individuals, payors and providers by increasing adherence, measuring treatment impact and lowering costs.

Citus Health: Call Bell  

Call Bell is an app that streamlines the inventory management process for home infusion providers and connects home infusion patients directly with resources and support.  


EarlyHive is a platform that rapidly connects case coordinators with specialists, therapists and practitioners and matches them by geography, speciality and availability.  

BioTrak Health: Halo  

Halo is a headband that monitors muscle tension and, with an accompanying app, provides real-time relaxation training exercises, which can help prevent tension headaches, migraines and TMJ pain.

“Growing a digital health company is a complex and difficult undertaking, and the Network affords us a chance to prove our technology in ways not otherwise accessible to us at this early stage,” said Biotrak Health Co-Founder Adam Kirell. “As we gather pilot data to share with investors and potential clients, we’ll bring our product to the people who need it most much faster and with better insight than we ever could on our own."  
“Getting the Network’s support with a pilot will help us validate our personalized, peer-based approach to addiction recovery. With five alcohol-related deaths in New York a day, 100,000 drug and alcohol-related ER visits a year, and a startling increase in opioid overdoses, it’s clear we needs a solution to help more people get and stay in recovery,” said Addicaid CEO Sam Frons. “We’re hopeful HITLAB will help us refine our product and make a positive, long-term impact on our city.”  

Earlier in 2016, dozens of companies submitted Network applications on this website. From this group, several teams were interviewed and, ultimately, Network leaders selected four startups for the Spring 2016 Batch. Selected startups all are based in New York City.    

"We’re elated to see dozens of startups in New York City going after worthwhile causes. It really confirms the strength of the City's digital health ecosystem," said Stan Kachnowski, Chair of HITLAB. "Working with large, established players can be a challenge for small and developing companies, especially early-stage ventures. So we’re pleased to have the City’s support in bringing startups into pilot partnerships with larger organizations in the City. Lives of New Yorkers and people globally will be impacted by the R&D being done here."    

The application period for the Fall 2016 Batch opened on October 1, 2016. To request an application, visit

The Digital Health Breakthrough Network is a new and important addition to the City’s Digital Health Portfolio, a collection of initiatives that continue to position New York City as a global hub for healthcare technology. In addition to the individually designed and implemented pilots, selected startups will receive exclusive support and guidance from the Network Advisory Boarding, comprising professionals from many of the City’s leading healthcare institutions.    

New York City is home to a robust healthcare sector that includes world-class academic medical centers, top pharmaceutical companies, and numerous physician practices, nursing associations, and clinics. Entrepreneurs, startups, and other innovators join these healthcare leaders to tackle complex healthcare issues, deploy new technologies, improve patient care, and reduce overall costs. The Digital Health Breakthrough Network is part of a portfolio of initiatives launched by NYCEDC to support the ecosystem for venture creation in the life sciences and healthcare sectors.    

"It's incredibly exciting to see NYC-based companies driving innovation in the health sector," said Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Health. "Because of the Digital Health Breakthrough Network, New Yorkers will be able to benefit from this innovation in truly meaningful ways. This initiative lies at the crossroads of health, tech and small business development, and it's a tremendous asset to our City. I want to thank NYCEDC, HITLAB and the four outstanding companies that were chosen for all their incredible work."    
"I'm elated with the selection of the initial class of startups for the Digital Health Breakthrough Network," said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Technology. "The Digital Health Breakthrough Network is an excellent initiative to advance the state of technology in health care. We have seen the strides that have been made in the health care sectors with respects to technological integration. The startups benefiting from the network will be leading the next generation of advances in the sector. I applaud NYCEDC and HITLAB for their efforts."


New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.


HITLAB is an innovation and teaching lab dedicated to improving the quality and accessibility of healthcare worldwide. We help leading organizations ideate, create, and evaluate technology-based solutions to pressing healthcare challenges. HITLAB’s team of public health professionals, anthropologists, statisticians, clinicians, engineers, economists, strategists, and designers is determined to address healthcare needs across the globe. HITLAB works with a wide variety of stakeholders in both the public and private sectors to design and disseminate studies, programs, and products that improve healthcare access and delivery. For more information visit and to learn about New York City’s premier, annual digital health event with live presentations on today’s most diffusive digital health tools and research.

Information about Network leadership, advisors and members is available at