Tag Archives: Underserved

Two Startups Bringing Health Innovation to Vulnerable Communities

Because of the nature of the work we do at StartUp Health, we’re often dealing with bleeding-edge ideas and technologies. Just last week on the show we talked to a founder creating what could be the smallest implantable devices on the market. Others are working on molecules that could cure diseases.

But there’s another kind of innovation that we’re equally passionate about at StartUp Health. That’s the kind of business model innovation that brings the best care and technology already available to new places and new people. There are many vulnerable communities that don’t get to benefit from the latest technical advances and it takes creative founders to bridge the gap.

Today on the podcast we’re highlighting two such founders. The first is Shruti Gurudanti, the CEO & Co-founder of Televëda – a member of the StartUp Health community since 2021. Gurudanti and her team are working with Native American veterans with the goal of lowering rates of suicide and suicidal ideation. They’ve got a tech platform that enables community building and telemedicine-style services, but what Gurudanti has found is that sometimes the most meaningful change is something basic: building trust with communities, particularly those long ignored.

After the conversation with Gurudanti we’ll hear from Kehlin Swain, CEO & Co-founder of Greens by Xplosion Technology, a member of the StartUp Health T1D Moonshot Community. Greens is an app designed to help vulnerable communities – particularly Black and Brown communities in the American South – manage diabetes in a culturally competent way. The app is called “Greens” in honor of one of the biggest cultural disconnects a family member faced as he navigated changing his diet after a diabetes diagnosis.

The common thread between Gurudanti and Swain is using the best tech of today to meet people where they are and to really understand what’s holding them back. Sometimes it’s something basic, like improving internet access or tech literacy, or bringing basic accountability to disease management.

Let’s get into the interviews, recorded live at a recent health tech conference.


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Dr. Toyin Ajayi, Cityblock Health: Building and Scaling a Company With an Impactful Mission

Toyin Ajayi, MD, co-founded Cityblock Health in 2017 with the goal of meeting patients where they are. Cityblock Health, which joined StartUp Health in 2019, provides patients with 24/7 support and care that is affordable and fits complex needs. Their mission is not just to improve quality of care, but to improve the health of whole communities.

In this conversation, Dr. Ajayi, who stepped into the role of CEO this year, shares how their high-touch care concept adapted to COVID. She also explains how their unique model has specialists collaborating on patient care plans and gives some hard-earned leadership advice to founders.

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