At the reception that followed Rock Health Boston’s first ever demo day on Friday, I asked Jeff Engler, co-founder of Podimetrics, what impact the accelerator had had on his business. He told me, quite simply, that he couldn’t imagine how a health startup could get going without an accelerator.

Why? Because unlike consumer web startups that just need to convince users of their product’s worth, health IT startups need to persuade hospitals, insurers, patients, government regulators and more. The health innovation ecosystem is tricky.

Engler’s sentiment underscores the importance of Rock Health and Healthbox – which just launched its first Boston class – taking root in the city. And just in case you’re inclined to dismiss Engler’s view of accelerators’ importance, it’s worth noting that Podimetrics, which helps prevent diabetic foot ulcers, isn’t just any health startup. They won the Life Sciences Track of the MIT $100K, and one Rock Health participant told me confidentially that Podimetrics is the company to watch from the graduating class.

While I unfortunately missed the early pitches, I saw Neumitra present about measuring stress via mobile devices, Neurotrack explain its predictive testing designed to improve Alzheimer’s drug trials, Reify Health (which I profiled here) explain its mobile health intervention platform, and Podimetrics show off a prototype of its ulcer-sensing bathmat. (I’ve included all teams’ information at the bottom of this post.)

For all the excitement locally around health startups, health IT has yet to really take off in Boston. Though the sector is hot nationally, there have been few VC deals in Boston. Hopefully, in a year from now the picture will be different.

See below descriptions of the graduating companies, courtesy of Rock Health:

NoviMedicine

NoviMedicine allows a dermatologist to diagnose and treat acne remotely and efficiently through a virtual office visit platform.

How we’ll make money
Consumer pays for “virtual office visit”

We’re looking for 
Funding, strategic partnerships, team members

Team
Joshua Spanogle, MD (Yale, Stanford, Mayo Clinic), Seth Spanogle (Founder SureTech), Chris Angel (Yale, Accenture, Disney), David Yoon (UC Berkeley, Puma, Deloitte), Dave Shevock (WebMD, Lucirix, Northwestern)

Podimetrics

Podimetrics is a home healthdevice that aims to free the world from diabetic wounds, a condition leading to 100k unnecessary leg amputations each year in the US alone.

How we’ll make money
Selling to payers

We’re looking for
Funding & strategic partners

Team
Jon Bloom, MD (MIT), Jeff Engler (HBS), David Linders (MIT), Paul Franzosa (BU), Dave Kale (CHLA), Marnix Hollander (MIT), Brian Peterson (MIT)

Reify Health

Reify Health empowers medical experts with a platform to develop and test mobilehealth therapies then deploys the effective mobile therapies into the third-party payer market.

How we’ll make money
We license our mobile therapy developer platform to clinicians and researchers, and healthplans and self-insured employers purchase mobilehealth therapies developed on our platform

We’re looking for
Strategic partnerships, funding

Team
Ralph Passarella (Johns Hopkins), Michael Lin (Johns Hopkins), Henry Li (Johns Hopkins), Joseph Abrahamson (Johns Hopkins)

Home Team Therapy

Home Team Therapy uses online video and the Microsoft Kinect sensor to help patients exercise at home.

How we’ll make money
Participants pay a monthly subscription fee

We’re looking for 
Partners

Team
Tim Fu (MIT Sloan), Dr. Anil Ranawat (HSS), Dr. Ben Gelfand (STAR Physical Therapy), Jake White (MIT Sloan)

Neumitra

Neumitra develops data-driven technologies to address the effects of stress on health, productivity, and happiness.

How we’ll make money
Individuals and organizations are buying devices and analytics

We’re looking for
Partners to help us solve the global stress epidemic

Team
Robert Goldberg (Ph.D in Cognitive Neuroscience, Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, Penn, MIT), Anand Yadav (Tufts, MIT, Human Genome Project, Broad Institute), Safiyy Momen (Princeton, MIT-Lincoln Lab)

NeuroTrack Technologies

NeuroTrack Technologies is a suite of behavioral assessment tools that can diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment.

How we’ll make money
Licensing to pharma and CROs

We’re looking for
Partners, funding, team members

Team
Elli Kaplan (HBS, Goldman Sachs, White House), Colin McDonald (Neurologica, Harvard), Dr. Stuart Zola (Emory), Dr. Beth Buffalo (Emory), Dr. Eugene Agichtein (Emory), CeeCee Manzanares (Emory)

RxApps

RxApps extends care management into the home using personalized web apps and SMS self-monitoring to engage patients and providers in the recovery process, starting with mental health.

How we’ll make money?
Subscription as a service, prescribed technology as part of treatment.

We’re looking for
Funding, strategic partners, and sales and development talent.

Team?
John Moore III (Partners Healthcare, Novartis), Elio Maggini (Verizon, Android SDK, Fidelity), Chris McDonald (RBS)

Image via Rock Health