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Trinnovate Ventures, a new healthcare accelerator for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, has made its first four initial investments in startup companies.

Two of the investments, MedMinder and ACO Partner, support new innovations in healthcare information technology. The other investments include a non-invasive test to help physicians detect lung cancer earlier, and a discount vision products company.

MedMinder is a pill-dispensing box designed for elderly and chronically ill patients; it uses a cellular connection that eliminates the need for a phone line or an Internet connection.

The patient or a family member or friend enters all medications and directions for taking a medication into a web database, explains Vishu Jhaveri, MD, CEO of Trinnovate Ventures and CMO at BCBS Arizona. The pill box has a modem inside, and when it is time to take a specific medication, that medication box will light up. If the medication is not taken within a specified time, a message is sent to authorized persons such as family, friends, care coordinators or physicians.

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All medication boxes are locked unless it is time to take a specific pill—that helps prevent a patient from taking the wrong medicine at the wrong time. MedMinder, Jhaveri says, was designed to improve care quality and clinical outcomes while lowering costs and increasing patient satisfaction.

ACO Partner, a joint venture between Trinnovate Ventures and McKesson Corp., is a management services organization to support independent physician practices. McKesson will offer reports to physicians to help them look at their own data from claims, pharmaceutical and HEDIS reports to better understand their practices, along with data analytics to identity at-risk patients and how a physician’s performance compares with peers.

ACO Partner went live in July; 208 physicians now are participating.

Proposals for funding can be sent to

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