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Product demos at Health 2.0 include apparel, apps

Mari Edlin

Launch! did just what it said it would do - introduce 10 new companies and their products at Health 2.0 in back-to-back, 3.5-minute demos.

The winner this year by audience vote was OMsignal and its bio-sensing apparel with embedded sensors that monitor heart rate, breathing, calories and activity, displaying the results on iPhones and iPads. OMsignal earned the opportunity to return to Health 2.0 next year as a main-stage presenter.

Stephane Marceau, co-founder and CEO, said his product, OMsignal, is a motivator for action, whether it is more sleep, exercise or relaxation.

Lori Mehen, a founder of Medlio in Durham, N.C., and her virtual insurance card jumped into the fray to help sort out the confusing consumer experience of paying medical bills.

Using a smart phone or iPad, users can tap into up-to-date health benefits information and access a centralized location for creating, sharing and storing medical forms. As a mother of three, caregiver and patient, Mehen spends a lot of time dealing with healthcare issues, filling out forms for kids’ appointments and vaccinations and negotiating billing practices.

The insurance card helps providers accurately estimate the cost of a patient encounter before it occurs so that patient balances can be collected prior to service.

"Unfortunately, front offices are not armed to provide costs to patients," she said.

Mehen said that consumers want to know what their healthcare really costs, which depends on whether a patient has reached his or her deductible, contracted rates with doctors and what procedures are done. All of that information becomes available using the app, which Mehen expects will go live in late October.

As many as 19 percent of patients do not pay their bills if the fees are not collected during the visit, Mehen said. She anticipates that the percentage collected will grow dramatically with the use of the tool.

Patients using the app can check in at the doctor’s office on their mobile devices, see real-time benefits - how much of their deductible has been reached and what services are covered - find out what a medical visit will cost before entering the exam room, share medical information with doctors without bulky paper forms, pay online and get a digital receipt.

The app can also find providers, including hospitals, doctors, facilities and pharmacies, with a map and directions.

Mehen partners with David Brooks, a 13-year veteran in the mobile space, and Ravi Ada on their new product. Initial funding has come from friends and family and the accelerator program in which Medlio has been accepted.

Mehen’s advice is to "believe in yourself and what you are passionate about. I can't tell you how many people have told me I'm wrong or I'm focusing on the wrong problem or the wrong audience," she said.

"Products don't solve problems, people do. Those who are passionate about solving the problem are not easily swayed and will bend the laws of physics to get it done. In other words, more passion, less product."

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