Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants are more of a rarity in this state than entrepreneurs and their supporters would like to see, so it was good news to learn that Hubble Telemedical had just received one. It came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The company was founded by two researchers – Ed Chaum from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Ken Tobin of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). They met during a visit Chaum made to ORNL and, as they say, the “rest is history.” Knoxville entrepreneur Chuck Witkowski joined them later as President and Chief Executive Officer.
For those who are not aware of the Hubble story, the teknovation.biz article is available at http://www.teknovation.biz/2012/06/26/ut-ornl-researchers-pursuing-technology-diabetic-retinopathy/.
Here’s the official news release on the SBIR Phase II award from Hubble.
Knoxville, TN – Hubble Telemedical, a leading healthcare information technology and services company, announced today that it has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The grant award will be used by the company to further develop and commercialize proprietary algorithms for predictive assessment and management of diabetic disease complications in large health disparity populations.
Diabetes care accounts for 10% of all U.S. healthcare costs, most of which is consumed in the care of complications from diabetes, but also includes lost economic productivity from illness, disability and blindness. Despite the high incidence of diabetes, low health literacy and limited access to health care resources keeps rural families in cycles of poor health. Critical socio-economic and geographical barriers to health care in rural communities pose unique challenges to identify those patients at the greatest risk for complications of diabetes, which are not met by current health care delivery models. Predictive analytics combined with telemedicine provides an efficient and cost-effective way to deliver these critical healthcare services over large geographic regions.
“Hubble’s innovative telemedical solutions are bringing expert care to underserved patients in rural communities, who previously had little or no access to tertiary care providers,” says Dr. Edward Chaum, MD, Hubble Telemedical’s co-founder and Chief Medical Officer. “Our solutions leverage proprietary informatics methodologies and the connectivity of the Internet to provide a scalable, web-based, and cost-effective solution for high throughput, point-of-care assessment and management of diabetic disease complications for improved efficiency and health outcomes.”
About Hubble Telemedical
Hubble Telemedical is a privately-held healthcare services and information technology company that provides remote retinal eye exams for disease screening and diagnosis. Using its award-winning TRIAD Network™, the company’s solutions permit the detection and management of ocular diseases in non-specialist settings, such as primary care and retail health clinics. By improving patient convenience and lowering delivery costs, Hubble Telemedical’s services help consumers, providers and payers realize better quality, better patient outcomes, and lower overall disease management costs. For more information, please visit www.hubbletelemedical.com.