Fostering Healthcare Innovations for Pain Management

A healthcare startup competition seeks to promote improved healthcare quality and delivery and reduce medical costs through innovation.

Health tech startups will feature their innovative products during “Demo Day” 2016, to take place June 23rd in Los Angeles.1 Chosen by Techstars Healthcare Accelerators from a pool of about 500 initial applicants from around the world, these companies will be given the opportunity to showcase their healthcare technology innovations to investors.

Techstars program in partnership with Cedars-Sinai, is looking to promote technology with the ability to improve healthcare quality and delivery and reduce medical costs. Demo day winners will also benefit from mentorship from both Techstars and Cedars-Sinai networks.

Among the 11 Demo Day finalists, two startups are focused on pain management. Applied VR is looking to leverage virtual reality to manage acute pain and anxiety.2 This immersive technology is intended to be used pre-operatively to reduce medical procedure-related anxiety and to offer a drug-free alternative to pain management.

Another innovative concept will be presented by Ella, which developed a smartphone application designed to help patients living with pain manage their condition through mindfulness.3 In particular, by offering guided daily breathing awareness exercises, startup founders hope to help reduce pain sensitivity as well as related stress in patients. These exercises are based on extensive literature showing beneficial effects of mindfulness for the management of chronic pain.4


1.Techstars Demo Day.

2.Applied VR.


4.Gotink RA, Chu P, Busschbach JJ, Benson H, Fricchione GL, Hunink MG. Standardised mindfulness-based interventions in healthcare: an overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of RCTs. PLoS ONE. 2015;10(4):e0124344.