Brad McCarty • March 26, 2019

The American College of Cardiology’s Scientific Session is an annual event that draws physicians, vendors, startups, and subject matter experts from across the United States. For the past two years, AngelMD has had the privilege of hosting the ACC’s Innovation Challenge. The Innovation Challenge pits a pool of startup contestants against one another in a Shark Tank-style pitch competition, where the teams compete for a pool of prizes.

This year’s competition was broken into two categories: Artificial Intelligence, and Digitally-Enabled Medical Devices. Given AI’s rise of importance in healthcare, the ACC wanted to give companies who make heavy use of AI the opportunity to showcase what they have accomplished, and what they’re planning for the future. The teams that were chosen to compete came from the AngelMD network, and were scored not only by AngelMD but also by member-physicians of the ACC.

The Finalists

Artificial Intelligence

  • Care Angel
  • HealthPals
  • Moving Analytics
  • RecoverLINK

Medical Devices

  • GraftWorx
  • Sira Medical
  • cliexa
  • HeartHero

The Winners

Moving Analytics was chosen as the winner from the Artificial Intelligence category. Their pitch showed a strong understanding of the market, its challenges, and a viable way toward solving them.

For heart disease patients, cardiac rehabilitation is a proven method of preventing readmission. Unfortunately, a lack of convenient options for patients means that a mere 15 percent of them ever complete CR programs. Moving Analytics helps hospitals implement virtual CR and secondary prevention programs for cardiac patients. In a value-based care world, where readmission can lead to stiff penalties, it’s critical that patients have access to care that it not only effective, but also considerate of their constraints.

HeartHero was chosen as the winner from the Medical Device category. The company pitched its ultra-portable, affordable, user-friendly AED to the crowd at the ACC.19 Innovation Challenge. A product that can readily save lives, and is available at a lower cost than the status quo was obviously a big hit with the audience.

The use of an AED at the time of an SCA event significantly increases the chance of survival, but currently, AEDs are only used in a small fraction of cases of out-of-hospital SCAs. This gap exists because 70% of out-of-hospital SCA events occur at home, but AEDs are only currently readily available to businesses and institutions. The HeartHero team sees an incredible opportunity to bridge this gap and create a consumer-friendly solution to address these in-home SCA events.


Our congratulations to both teams for their performance, and for winning the Innovation Challenge. Be on the lookout for a full-length article, featuring both companies, that will appear in an upcoming issue of ACC’s Cardiology magazine.

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