Here Are The Black Tech Entrepreneurs Tackling Health Care’s Race Gap
Platforms created by Black founders for communities of color continue to blossom. They are providing culturally competent care — acknowledging a patient’s heritage, beliefs, and values during treatment – in ways that other providers aren’t.
Racial discrimination in healthcare disadvantages Black and other minority ethnic groups with unequal access to quality healthcare resources.
Inspired by their own experiences, these Black entrepreneurs are launching startups that aim to close the cultural gap in health care with technology, create profitable businesses and tackle racism.
Dr. Amber Michelle Hill is considered a force in the field of translational neuroscience and medical research. She founded the AI-based R.grid, which creates technologies that facilitate the streamlining of medical research.
It claims to offer a state-of-the-art AI-powered, unified cloud-based system to accelerate operations, quality assurance, stakeholder engagement, and data management.
Health in Her Hue
Health In Her HUE is a digital platform that connects Black women to the health care providers, services, and resources committed to their health & well-being. Launched in 2018 with just six doctors on the roster – the startup has grown, and now two years later, users can download the app at no cost and then scroll through roughly 1,000 providers.
Ashlee Wisdom founded it and raised $1M in its pre-seed fundraising round with 6 total investors.
Wisdom got her app idea from being so stressed while working a job during grad school that she broke out in hives.
Kevin Dedner, 45, founded the company that’s headquartered in Washington, D.C. The firm pairs patients with therapists who “honor culture instead of ignoring it,” he says. He started the company three years ago, but more people turned to Hurdle after the killing of George Floyd, he told NPR.
Therapists at the firm complete the Hurdle Cultural Responsiveness Training, which equips them with the skills needed to effectively address issues of race, ethnicity, class, and culture.
The training is layered over clinical best practices, including cognitive behavioral therapy and trauma-informed care.
The vehicles transport internet-connected telecommunications, teleconferencing, and video-conferencing devices and services/computer applications” to underserved areas, allowing virtual meetups between physicians and those in need.
“TeleHealth Van is a service that we created for the people in the inner-cities…It works like—you don’t leave your house if you got a mental health situation or got doctors you need to talk to.
“The van comes to your location, and you get in the van—it’s basically like doing a Zoom call. You get in the van, and you see your mental health worker or [the doctor] over the screen, and y’all have y’all session,” YG told TMZ.
This project is personal for YG, who has been open about his struggles with mental health.
It’s a comprehensive maternity and infant care management platform. It partners with payers and providers to create care programs that make it easy for all families to receive comprehensive prenatal and postpartum care.
New and expecting parents can also join the Mahmee community directly to start receiving support.
It was founded by Melissa Hanna, an activist-entrepreneur, who also helps lead operations and strategy at leading startups in healthcare, education, digital media, and consumer goods.
Mahmee is a HIPAA-secure, web-based application. Native mobile versions are in the works.
The Mahmee care management platform offers a variety of ways to receive personalized care: educational curriculum, direct messaging with coaches, video-chat support groups, webinars, and 1-on-1 virtual consults. When parents join, a customized care plan is designed based on your health record and birth story. That plan will evolve with you and your baby as you grow together.