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From left, Steven Milner, M.D., Baton advisor and head of Johns Hopkins Burn Unit and Professor of Plastic Surgery; Peter Ball, portfolio director, Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures; Zack Goldberg, president of Baton havw a discussion at the Baton table after the presentations at the DreamIt Health Demo Day in Baltimore. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Health startups graduate from Baltimore accelerator

Dr. Stephen Milner sees a problem with how many doctors interact with each other in hospitals. If doctors only make rounds and discuss each patient together once per day, then they’re not communicating enough and increasing the risk of making errors when treating patients.

So Milner, director of the Johns Hopkins Burn Center, helped developed an online application that lets doctors track a patient’s treatment and progress in real time and instantly communicate with each other via smartphone or tablet about any problems or developments. He and his partners spent four months developing their company, called Baton, in the second session of the DreamIt Health Baltimore business accelerator.

On Wednesday, Baton and five other startups graduated from the accelerator, ending their run with a pitch session to potential investors.

Zack Goldberg, President of Baton, explain their HIPAA-compliant mobile application that connects care providers and patients to share medical information remotely and in real time, in front of a group of investors at the DreamIt Health Demo Day in Baltimore. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz),

Zack Goldberg, President of Baton, explain their HIPAA-compliant mobile application that connects care providers and patients to share medical information remotely and in real time, in front of a group of investors at the DreamIt Health Demo Day in Baltimore. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz),

DreamIt, which also operates accelerator programs in New York, Philadelphia and Austin, provided the startups with office space in downtown Baltimore and $50,000 in seed money. It also connected the companies with free legal advice and introduced them to business leaders, investors and others who can help the companies find their footing.

“It might be speaking to someone who does marketing, or someone who does design,” said Zack Goldberg, an entrepreneur and Baton’s president. “People who are useful to startups.”

Baton is already off and running: Since it was founded in March 2014 it has raised $150,000 in grants and seed money.

After running pilot programs earlier this year at Johns Hopkins Hospital, St. Agnes Hospital and a hospital in Alabama, the company signed its first contract, with Sinai Hospital, last week. Baton is in talks with six more hospitals and hopes to have 20 signed contracts by the end of the year, Goldberg said.

Baton is the only member of the 2015 DreamIt Health cohort that is also a Baltimore-based startup. Others came to the city from as far away as Wisconsin, San Francisco, and Spain.

The Madison, Wisconsin-based Redox was founded by seven former engineers from Epic, a software company specializing in electronic health records. Redox has developing a system to make it easier for health care software to access electronic health records from different health systems, said Niko Skievaski, the company’s head of business development.

One of the company’s primary goals in coming to Baltimore was to develop a relationship with Johns Hopkins Medicine, one of DreamIt Health Baltimore’s co-sponsors, Skievaski said.

While the company will continue to be based in Madison, a strategic location for the health care industry because it’s where Epic is located, Redox will likely maintain some presence in Baltimore because of the connections it has made in the area, he said.

The other participating startups are:

– InsightMedi, whose founders come from Spain, a photo-sharing application and network that allows doctors to share X-rays and other medical images with colleagues for advice in a way that keeps the patient’s identity protected.

– Decisive Health Systems of San Francisco, which developed an application that allows patients to shop and compare prices for medical services the way websites like Expedia lets customers shop for flights and hotel rooms.

– Chicago-based Nomful, which developed an application to help its clients share and track their nutritional habits with their personal trainers.

– Sisu Global Health, a Michigan-based company looking to market medical devices in emerging markets such as Africa. The company’s first product is a low-cost surgical tool that allows a person’s blood to be recycled from internal bleeding, saving on the cost of donor blood.

Now that the startups have completed DreamIt Health’s 16-week “boot camp,” they’ll join 14 other companies on a three-city tour next week during which they will pitch their products to groups of investors, venture firms and angel groups in New York, Boston and Silicon Valley, said Jason Hardabeck, managing director of DreamIt Health Baltimore.

Demo days like the one held in Baltimore Wednesday have had increasing difficulty in attracting investors because they’ve become so much more common, Hardabeck said. With the three-city tour, “we’re taking the mountain to Muhammad,” he said.

One potential investor who attended Wednesday’s event was Kenneth Karpay of the Baltimore Angels, an angel investor group established in 2009. Karpay was also an editor at The Daily Record in the 1980s.

Representatives from the Angels will compare notes from the presentations, then invite three of the DreamIt health startups to make a more in-depth pitch at a future meeting of the group, Karpay said.

Other co-sponsors of the accelerator include Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the Abell Foundation, the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore and BioHealth Innovation.