Last week, Endeavor Louisville brought you Appriss, Inc., a Kentucky-based tech enterprise working to positively impact public safety, retail fraud, and narcotics. This week, we’re excited to bring your attention to two Kentucky companies using technology and innovation to create positive changes in the future of human health. The steps they’re making in advancing healthcare make them tech companies to watch.
Co-Founder & CEO of Lexington-based Space Tango, Twyman Clements, made Fast Company’s annual “Most Creative People in Business for 2018” list. And after learning more about the business, it’s clear why.
Space Tango uses International Space Station (ISS) research to explore microgravity which, according to NASA, is defined as “the condition in which people or objects appear to be weightless.” Space Tango does this using their CubeLabsTM, smart containers that run by themselves and give “near real-time data and monitoring capabilities.” The company explains, “the microgravity environment is a new frontier for discovery and innovation. By exploring it with industries of all kinds, we can improve life on Earth.”
One way Space Tango uses their technology is to research diseases of the nervous system. It’s hoped their findings will accelerate Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis research. By partnering with organizations focused on stem cell research, Space Tango offers the ability to evaluate how cells interact when faced with neurodegenerative diseases in a gravity-free environment. The results could speed researchers toward breakthroughs in treating and curing these diseases.
The company is also involved in research and development surrounding Earth-based biomedical applications of hemp to streamline the creation of new and innovative drug treatments. Dr. Joe Chappell, an expert in drug research and design and member of Space Tango’s Science Advisory Team, elaborates: “Understanding how plants react in an environment where the traditional stress of gravity is removed can provide new insights into how adaptations come about and how researchers might take advantage of such changes for the discovery of new characteristics, traits, biomedical applications and efficacy.”
Furthermore, Space Tango recently announced plans to launch a fully autonomous robotic orbital platform designed specifically for scalable manufacturing in space. This project will be operational by mid 2020, and aims to harness the unique environment of microgravity to produce high-value products across industries.
Space Tango’s technology may enable ISS-based research, but they say it best: “Our focus is not necessarily the six people in orbit, but the seven billion people on Earth.”
BehaVR, a virtual reality (VR) company headquartered in Elizabethtown, is also working to effect positive change in human wellbeing by creating a new delivery system for healthcare using VR technology. Founder & CEO, Aaron Gani, who previously served as Chief Technology Officer for healthcare giant Humana, states that their goal is to create “Virtual Reality experiences that educate, motivate and activate healthy behavior change, empowering individuals to achieve their best health.”
The traditional way of learning to take steps toward healthier living involved reading online or hearing about tactics from your personal doctor. With BehaVR, individuals actually experience those steps first-hand through VR. And when we experience something, we’re more likely to remember it. Founding Partner Senator Bill Frist, MD, explained to Forbes that the “things we actually experience stay with us in a way that things we are simply told, taught, or observe do not.”
The BehaVR products offer virtual experiences that educate and motivate users to activate healthier behaviors and responses. It offers compelling, personalized experiences with applications in stress resilience, emotional regulation, chronic pain relief, addiction recovery, and healthy lifestyle adaptation. What’s more? Their cloud-based platforms allow clinicians and health providers to integrate BehaVR with their existing practice software systems.
BehaVR’s innovative efforts are being recognized around the globe. The company received the First Place Award for Excellence in Skin & Muscle Health in 2018 in the category of mental health. And last year, BehaVR was selected as one of the thousands of applicants to present their ideas and products at CB Insights’ inaugural Demo Day during the celebrated A-ha! Conference in San Francisco.
Tech to Watch
It’s clear Space Tango and BehaVR are innovative leaders using technology today to make a better tomorrow. At Endeavor in Louisville, we’re proud to see these Kentucky companies working to positively impact the future of human health and know they deserve a place on our list of tech companies to watch.