Upstate Medical University

CNY Biotech Accelerator 2021 Medical Device Innovation Challenge Team, MindTrace, Accepted into AlphaLab Health 2021-2022 Cohort

Healthcare and life sciences accelerator AlphaLab Health today announced the second cohort of start-up companies to participate in their program. The companies were competitively selected to participate in a six-month program that will help them navigate key risk points in the clinical and commercial development of their companies. The companies also receive up to $100,000 in pre-seed investment. This cohort features a wide range of companies covering diagnostics, therapeutics, medical device, healthcare IT and packaging solutions.

“Parcel Health is really excited to work with AlphaLab Health,” said Melinda Su-En Lee Co-Founder & CEO of Parcel Health. “We've already received amazing mentorship and feedback and spoken with important health system stakeholders in the weeks before officially starting in Cohort 2. We're excited to grow and scale our sustainable packaging company with the strategic support and resources at AlphaLab Health.”

AlphaLab Health is one part of the Pittsburgh life sciences and biotech ecosystem that has recently been recognized as one of the top emerging innovation clusters in the world. Several of the companies from the first cohort, which completed in June, have already surpassed their respective goals for follow-on funding and met other milestones of growth. The program is run out of a former hospital campus owned by Allegheny Health Network (AHN) in Bellevue that has been repurposed to support innovation and community health.

“AlphaLab Health wraps entrepreneurs with a network of clinical and business experts who know how to help them succeed in the complex health care system,” said Megan Shaw, managing director for life sciences at Innovation Works. “The program brings together all the strengths of IW and AHN and then adds in mentors, access to customers, clinicians with deep experience and domain knowledge, and other resources that can help these talented founders leapfrog past the challenges they would otherwise face,” Shaw continued.

A brief synopsis of the companies in the new cohort is provided below.

Introducing the 2021-2022 Alpha Lab Health Cohort

  • MindTrace is developing technology that allows neurosurgeons to remove brain tumors and seizure-generating tissue, while ensuring each patient leaves the hospital the same person they were when they arrived, preserving personality and skills.
  • Parcel Health creates innovative and sustainable medication packaging. More than eight billion plastic prescription bottles are used annually in the United States, most ending up in landfills. Parcel Health provides eco-friendly medication packaging that is designed to be child-resistant and elderly-friendly, all while improving pharmacy workflows and reducing medication errors.
  • Hale Therapeutics is on a mission to end one of the leading causes of preventable death; smoking. Through their consumer-facing device, they’ve combined smoking cessation science with an elegant full-stack solution to wean people off of nicotine. Hale's connected medical vaporizer automatically and gradually reduces nicotine intake over time, helping people achieve their goals of quitting smoking better than current Nicotine Replacement Therapies.
  • answers the question “how are your lungs doing” by giving users a detailed lung performance report by simply speaking into a smartphone. The company’s vision is to turn every smartphone in the world into a powerful remote respiratory monitoring device through a simple app and that will improve wellness and prevent unneeded hospitalizations and ED visits.
  • Naima Health is an interdisciplinary team developing the MyHealthyPregnancy app which uses decision science, machine learning, and maternal-fetal health expertise to help pregnant women minimize their risk of adverse outcomes – including preterm birth.


Spoken helps people with aphasia or other language disorders speak again by predicting likely words and phrases.The company has taken the same machine learning algorithms that power a phone’s autocomplete function and applied them to much bigger data, giving suggestions that fit the context and improve with time. It’s a radically different approach to treating disabilities that aims to serve a growing global market.

About AlphaLab Health
Alpha Lab Health ( is a program of Innovation Works (IW) in partnership with Allegheny Health Network (AHN). IW and AHN bring their resources and expertise together to deliver greater value to health and life science related companies in the Pittsburgh region, nurturing innovations that will change health care and create growth for the regional economy. AlphaLab Health gives entrepreneurs access to specialized clinicians, insurers, hospital administrators and domain experts that accelerate the new company’s growth. The program links emerging companies with early customers, corporate partners, potential investors and knowledgeable staff and mentors so entrepreneurs can bring to life the innovations that will change and improve patient care.

About AHN
Allegheny Health Network (, a Highmark Health company, is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the greater Western Pennsylvania region. Among the network’s 300 clinical locations are 14 hospitals and five Health + Wellness Pavilions. AHN also is home to a comprehensive research institute; home- and community-based health services; and a group purchasing organization. The network employs more than 20,000 people and has more than 2,600 doctors on its medical staff. Established in 2013, AHN’s member hospitals share legacies of charitable care that date back more than 160 years.

About Innovation Works
Innovation Works ( is one of the nation’s top 10 most active investors in seed-stage technology companies and is the leading supporter of the Pittsburgh region’s tech startups with investment, business assistance and connections to other resources. Since 1999, Innovation Works (IW) has supported the software, hardware and life sciences startups most likely to grow the region’s economy. IW is part of the statewide Ben Franklin Technology Partner network, a system of four centers that financially and operationally support innovative startup, early-stage, and high-growth companies across the Commonwealth. The BFTP is funded in part by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority and is overseen by the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development.