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CareQuest Innovation Partners and MATTER Launch Third Annual SMILE Health Accelerator Program

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CareQuest Innovation Partners has teamed up with MATTER to find solutions that consider and connect the link between oral health and overall health.

CareQuest Innovation Partners and MATTER Launch Third Annual SMILE Health Accelerator Program. Image credit: © Carestream Dental © MATTER

CareQuest Innovation Partners and MATTER Launch Third Annual SMILE Health Accelerator Program. Image credit: © Carestream Dental © MATTER

CareQuest Innovation Partners has teamed up with MATTER, a leading health care incubator to announce the opening of applications for the third annual SMILE Health accelerator program. This initiative aims to identify, validate, and propel solutions that enhance equity, accessibility, and integration between oral health and overall health, according to a press release from the companies.

As the link between oral health and overall health becomes clearer, it becomes vital to integrate solutions more, according to VP of Growth & Innovation at CareQuest Innovation Partners Katie D’Amico.

“Integrating dental and medical care is crucial to expand access, advancing health equity, and improving health outcomes, and requires intentional collaboration between key stakeholders to make it a reality,” D’Amico said in the press release. “Through our SMILE Health community, we are proud to bring together leaders shaping the health care industry with mission-aligned innovators to advance new solutions that address long-standing challenges and transform health care.”

This year, the global call for innovators will revolve around 3 tracks co-created by CareQuest Innovation Partners and industry partners: advancing accessible, equitable, and integrated health; reducing disparities through oral health; and connecting chronic care with oral health.

Dr Cary Sun, chief dental officer at Cigna Healthcare, highlighted the significance of integrated health care in managing chronic conditions effectively and equitably. "As part of SMILE Health, we look forward to collaborating with innovators to improve outcomes while managing costs," he said in the press release.

Participation in SMILE Health offers selected startups a $10,000 non-dilutive stipend to support their 12-week journey. The program will culminate in a Demo Day at the HTLH Conference in Las Vegas, where startups will pitch their solutions to industry leaders, potential investors, partners, and clients.

Lee Shapiro, Managing Partner of 7wireVentures, emphasized the program's role in de-risking investment in health care startups and driving meaningful change in the industry. He stated, "Programs like SMILE Health validate solutions in a real-world environment, opening the door to investors eager to drive meaningful change in the health care industry."

Applications for SMILE Health 2024 are open until May 8, 2024. Startups interested in joining the accelerator program can apply through the CareQuest Innovation Partners website. Selected startups will be matched with industry partners to advance their solutions with resources, data access, subject matter expertise, and feedback.

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