1501 Health Media Moves | January 2023

Each month, we round up breaking news featuring 1501 Health, our cohort companies and partners.

Kicking off the year on a good note, Live Chair Health was named one of 10 local Startups to Watch by the Baltimore Business Journal and WellSet unveiled its first holistic self-care health benefit for employers, which has already been launched by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. And, we have a major funding announcement from Xploro. Scroll below for more! 


"Xploro gets Funding from 2 Hospital VC Arms"
Becker's Hospital Review | January 26, 2023

The Brief:

Xploro, a pediatric-focused digital health startup founded in the U.K., has opened a U.S. headquarters after receiving funding from two health system venture capital arms and hiring the former chief innovation officer of Akron (Ohio) Children's Hospital.

The funding round included Cleveland-based University Hospitals Ventures — through its Healthcare Collaboration Fund with venture capital nonprofit JumpStart Inc. — as well as Baltimore-based LifeBridge Health and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. Xploro previously participated in LifeBridge and CareFirst's health tech accelerator, 1501 Health.


WellSet Launches First Holistic Self-Care Benefit Backed by Insurance
PR Newswire | January 19, 2023

The Brief:

WellSet, the first digital holistic health studio, today introduced the first and only emotional and mental health benefit to help employers address the burnout epidemic using science-backed holistic practices. WellSet provides unlimited access to thousands of live and on-demand classes spanning 20+ evidence-based practices designed to improve mind, body, and emotional health, like Acupressure, Self-Hypnosis, and EFT/Tapping, in addition to Yoga, Mindfulness, and more.

WellSet also announced that CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst), the largest not-for-profit health plan in the mid-Atlantic region, is now including WellSet as a portfolio option for employer group accounts.


"Live Chair Health Named a Top 10 Startup to Watch "
Baltimore Business Journal | January 13, 2023

The Brief:

Even in a year where many startups struggled to survive, funding dried up and technology stocks plunged, Baltimore companies still managed to grow and create new innovations.

That's not likely to change in 2023 and this list seeks to highlight local startups worth keeping an eye on this year. The list ranges from startups hoping to change luxury travel, to companies focused on the nascent sports betting industry. 

  • Live Chair Health

    Live Chair Health is asking people to view community institutions like barbershops and community center differently. Instead of being a place to unwind after a long day of work with a haircut, CEO Andrew Suggs hopes to turn the barbershop into a health care resource.

    Live Chair Health partners with Black barbershops to engage Medicaid patients with their doctors and insurance plans. The company offers a basic health screening in a barbershop or other community center. After assessing the individual’s basic health needs, Live Chair helps patients connect with health care providers and other community resources. Suggs pivoted to the health care industry after witnessing his father's declining health from heart disease, and the overall health disparities in the United States.

    Live Chair Health is one of the first graduates of the 1501 Health incubator, a partnership between LifeBridge Health and Healthworx, the innovation arm of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. The company has raised $4.8 million in a seed round and seed extension round. Live Chair Health plans to move into new markets, focusing on the southeastern United States. The company already has a presence in Maryland and Los Angeles but plans to expand into two new states in 2022. The company has also begun making inroads into the Hispanic community with a Spanish-language version of the Live Chair application.


About 1501 Health
1501 Health is a unique partnership between Healthworx and LifeBridge Health, representing expertise in both health insurance and financing (payers) and healthcare delivery and services (providers). The investment and incubation program empowers entrepreneurs to get their innovative solutions to market and expand their impact in healthcare quality, access and affordability. To learn more about 1501Health, visit www.1501Health.com.

About Healthworx
Healthworx operates at the intersection of healthcare and innovation by creating, co-creating and investing in companies that are improving healthcare quality, accessibility, affordability and equity. As the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst, Healthworx envisions a healthier future for all people by changing the way health works. To learn more about Healthworx, visit https://www.healthworx.com.

About LifeBridge Health
LifeBridge Health is one of the largest, most comprehensive providers of health services in Maryland. LifeBridge Health includes Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Northwest Hospital, Carroll Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Grace Medical Center and related affiliates. For more information, visit www.lifebridgehealth.org.

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