The business end of digital skills: everybody wins – households can gain $1,363 to $2,879 per year

The National Skills Coalition took a look at the impact of digital skills training on workers, the word force and businesses…

The findings in this analysis are unequivocal:

There is overwhelming demand for digital skills in the labor market, with 92 percent of all job ads requiring definitely digital or likely digital2 skills. This demand is robust across all industries, and small businesses are just as likely as their larger peers to seek workers with technology skills.

Yet many workers have not had sufficient opportunity to build such skills; earlier research found that nearly one-third of U.S. workers do not have foundational digital skills, and workers of color fall disproportionately into this category due to structural inequities.3

Equipping workers with necessary skills requires action by both private employers and public policy[1]makers. Notably, public investments in workforce development and education are especially vital given the unevenness of private investments and the prevalence of digital skill demands among smaller businesses, which depend on publicly funded work[1]force and education partners to upskill employees.

Closing the digital skill divide has major payoffs for businesses. Prior research has shown that workers value upskilling opportunities and prefer working for employers who offer clear, well-defined path[1]ways to advancement.4 Because turnover has heavy costs for businesses – with estimates ranging from $25,000 for workers who leave within the first year to over $78,000 for workers who leave after five years,5 averting or delaying turnover by ensuring that workers have upskilling opportunities can be economically significant.

Public investments in closing the digital skill divide can also generate economic benefits for individual workers and the broader economy. People who qualify for jobs that require even one digital skill can earn an average of 23 percent more than those working in jobs requiring no digital skills — an increase of $8,000 per year for an individual worker.6 These increased earnings could result in more state and federal tax revenue generated by each worker. Depending on the household size and composition, this could range from $1,363 to $2,879 per year.7

Beltrami Electric Cooperative gets $22.7 million USDA loan for smart grid technology (Polk County)

The USDA reports

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the Department is investing $2.7 billion to help 64 electric cooperatives and utilities (PDF, 175 KB) expand and modernize the nation’s rural electric grid and increase grid security.

Investment included Minnesota…

USDA is investing in 64 projects through the Electric Loan Program. This funding will benefit nearly 2 million rural people and businesses in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Here are some details…

Minnesota’s Beltrami Electric Cooperative is receiving a $22.7 million loan to connect 1,480 consumers and build and improve 225 miles of line. The loan includes $1.3 million for smart grid technologies. Beltrami Electric is headquartered in Bemidji, Minnesota. It serves 21,772 consumers in portions of Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Hubbard, Itasca and Koochiching counties with 3,500 miles of distribution line covering approximately 3,000 square miles.

And hope for the future…

In the coming months, USDA will announce additional energy infrastructure financing. The Biden-Harris Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act provided more than $12 billion to USDA for loans and grants to expand clean energy, transform rural power production, create jobs and spur economic growth. This funding will help make energy cleaner, more reliable and more affordable.

EVENT Jan 25: Internet for All: Connecting One Minnesota Workshop Agenda

The Office of Broadband Development is hosting a one-day broadband conference on January 25 from 8:30-4:15. The agenda looks terrific and it’s a good chance to catch up with colleagues and create partnership for future projects.

Internet for All: Connecting One Minnesota Workshop
Wed, January 25, 2023, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM CST
Mystic Lake Center 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd Prior Lake, MN 55372

Here’s the agenda:

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration/Check-in
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Welcome/Opening Ceremony
9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Broadband in Minnesota: A Look Back
9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Charting the Path to Connecting all Minnesotans
10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Overview of Federal Broadband Funding Opportunities
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Why Digital Equity Matters
12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Networking Lunch
1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Digital Equity in Best Practice
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Industry Panel: Networking Design and Build
2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Local Coordination: How to Get Involved
3:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Next Steps: Barriers and Tools to Break Them Down
4:15 p.m. Closing and Thank You

61 Iron Range small businesses receive “Tech Boosts”

Here’s an update from the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation email newsletter…

Tech Boost was launched in late 2021 to help small businesses in northeastern Minnesota adopt new technologies that benefit their operations. The business owners received a free expert consultation from Northland SBDC on potential technology-related investments to assist their business. The business was then given the option to purchase technology equipment or services of which two-thirds of the costs were eligible for reimbursement through grant funding.

Tech Boost was part of Arrowhead Intelligent Region Initiative (AIR), a broadband partnership between Blandin Foundation, Northland Foundation and Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation. The trio made available a pool of grant funds for local organizations working to support a broadband-fueled economy in northeastern Minnesota.

Throughout 2022, Northland SBDC consultants Vicki Hagberg and Curt Walczak met one-on-one with 76 small businesses to provide technical assistance and technology recommendations to bolster their operations. Sixty-one of the 76 businesses chose to utilize the Tech Boost grant. A total of $55,764 in grant funds were distributed, and over $120,000 was invested in technology improvements for regional businesses.

The grant funding was used for a variety of technologies including: new laptops, tablets and printers; point-of-sale system to help manage sales and inventory; systems to support online retail sales; lodging reservation systems; website development; networking systems; automated/smart medical equipment; and, equipment to develop real estate virtual tours.

Four of the 61 businesses that utilized the grant funding were:

  • Bear Island Realty (Ely): Tech Boost Grant purchased equipment to develop virtual real estate tours to post on Realty.com. SBDC Technical Assistance was provided in the areas of business acquisition, human resources, QuickBooks and marketing. Bear Island Realty provides professional real estate services in the Ely and surrounding area.
  • Joy & Company (Grand Marais): Tech Boost Grant purchased a new photo printer. SBDC Technical Assistance was provided in the areas of COVID-relief, general operations and marketing. Joy & Company is a retail shop with locally-made art, gifts, art supplies, antiques, vintage clothing and jewelry.
  • Rose Cottage Baking Co. (Cook): Tech Boost Grant purchased a point-of-sale system and networking equipment to provide internet access at the bakery. SBDC Technical Assistance was provided in the areas of business plan development and financial projections to support a business expansion. Rose Cottage Baking Co. is a family-based eatery that serves homemade breakfast, lunch, coffee, espresso, handcrafted lattes and baked goods with no preservatives, no fillers and only freshly ground grains.
  • Golden Paws Dog Training (Aurora): Tech Boost Grant purchased a new computer and monitor for business management and online dog training curriculum with national reach. SBDC Technical Assistance was provided in the areas of business plan development and financial projections for construction of a new dog training facility. Golden Paws provides in-person and online dog training for basic obedience, behavior problem solving and dog sport competition.

“Northland SBDC provided me with expert advice that was tailored to my bakery’s needs,” said Rebekah Olson, Rose Cottage Baking Co. owner. “I received help to confidently navigate the technology purchases and implementation at my bakery’s new brick and mortar location.”

New COVID-19 telehealth test-to-treat program in MN

KARE 11 reports

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced a new COVID-19 telehealth test-to-treat program Monday that ensures anyone who tests positive for the virus will have access to clinician care and therapeutic treatments to reduce the risk of serious illness or hospitalization.

All of the services provided through the pilot program including the consultation, medication and delivery, will come at no cost.

According to a press release from MDH, the state’s pilot program works with both at-home and lab COVID-19 tests regardless of brand.

The department says Minnesotans who test positive for COVID-19 can download the Cue Health app to schedule a virtual consultation with a licensed clinician who will determine if therapeutic treatment is a good option.

If the clinician determines that if the infected person is a good candidate for therapeutics, the clinician can issue that prescription to the patient’s local pharmacy.

St. Scholastica DNP Students Present Research on Integrating Behavioral Health into Primary Care through Telehealth in Rural Minnesota

Thanks to the folks at Wilderness Health for sending info on this interesting research. Finding a way to make it easier to get mental health care in rural areas would reap benefits…

The College of St. Scholastica’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Students, Madison Mack, RN, BSN and Rachel Barger, RN, BSN, presented their research on “Implementing a Primary Care Behavioral Health Integration Model into Telehealth Visits in Rural Minnesota” to the Wilderness Health Telehealth Committee on December 8th.

Mack and Barger’s research follows previous studies done by fellow DNP student, Kerry Reuter. Reuter’s research focused on the benefits of and barriers to accessing telehealth in rural areas of MN. The CSS DNP students work seeks to take telemental health to the next level in the region served by Wilderness Health members and fellow care providers and community groups in the Arrowhead.

Mack and Barger’s research and curiosity were fueled by the barriers to accessing mental healthcare in rural Minnesota. These include stigma, confidentiality issues, shortages of mental health care providers, cost of care, and a lack of transportation resources. They noted that “rural patients travel nearly three times longer to seek mental health care than those in urban areas.”

The proposed model by Mack and Barger aims to reduce these barriers through an integrated primary care behavioral health approach utilizing telehealth. They focused on the interaction between physical and mental health and suggested that primary care providers like family doctors and nurse practitioners work hand in hand with mental healthcare providers to care for the whole person. Telehealth technologies can help bring these behavioral health specialists into rural clinics virtually. Mack and Barger’s Northeastern Minnesota Resident survey included participants from Lake, Cook, St. Louis, Itasca, and Koochiching Counties and found that 87% of respondents believed NE MN residents would benefit from tele-mental health visits.

Mack and Barger shared their insights about best practices with the Wilderness Health Telehealth Committee, bringing together community mental health and equity advocates, healthcare professionals within and outside the Wilderness network, IT, compliance, billing, and other administrative specialists.

Wilderness Health works with its nine member partners on a variety of initiatives to improve rural health in Minnesota. Wilderness Health was named the 2022 Minnesota Rural Health Team Award winner by the Minnesota Department of Health for its outstanding work improving patient experience, advancing patient and community health outcomes, lowering costs, and enhancing the care team.

Next Steps
The work is only beginning. Wilderness Health plans to work with incoming DNP students from the College of St. Scholastica to further research and implement access to care through telehealth in rural areas.

MN State of Talent Tech: Business better poised than workers? If so for how long?

The Minnesota Technology Association has released a report on the MN State of Talent Tech. The executive summary says it all. The opportunities are here but unevenly distributed in terms of training and supporting a diverse workforce…

The Minnesota Technology Association (MnTech) has long heard about challenges in finding tech talent, and in order to understand the true magnitude of this challenge has released the first annual Minnesota: State of Tech Talent report, detailing the current tech talent landscape. This report details how the tech sector continues to contribute to the strong Minnesota economy, with the average annual median tech wage at $94,715, 106% higher than the median state wage, an unemployment rate at only 1.1% in the sector, and 1 person hired for every 4 tech positions posted.

However, much of the good news about tech talent and opportunity ends there. We are 46th in the nation when looking at job growth in large part due to the lack of talent to fill open roles.

Minnesota is in the bottom half of the country for representative diversity in tech, with women, Black or African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American/Indigenous (BIPOC) populations all underrepresented as compared to their respective representation in the labor force.

In Minnesota, 89% of all tech job postings require a four-year degree, yet less than 22% of BIPOC talent in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area hold a bachelor’s degree. By most measures, Minnesota is falling behind when it comes to tech talent development. We are last in the nation, ranked 50th out of 50 states for high schools offering foundational computer science courses.

Only 12% of urban schools, 18% of suburban, and 25% of rural high schools offer foundational computer science courses, and women, Black or African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American/Alaskan students are taking advanced placement (AP) exams at rates less than half of their respective overall student populations.

Minnesota colleges are not producing enough degree holders to meet demand either, as they are annually producing approximately 600 fewer software developers than for which there is demand. However, over the last decade, Minnesota has more than doubled the number of computer science graduates, showing there is opportunity for increases in the years to come. Given that 72% of graduates from Minnesota colleges stay in the state, the 5th highest in the nation, investing in our college’s computer science programs will help solve our talent challenges today and into the future.

Senator Klobuchar talks about importance of precision agriculture

KRWC AM 1360 reports

The 2023 Farm Bill will likely include programs to expand broadband access to more homes, farms and businesses in rural America.

During a recent Senate Ag Committee hearing, Senator Amy Klobuchar talked about the importance of high-speed internet for “precision” agriculture.

Precision agriculture management uses things like drones, GPS, and irrigation technologies. The USDA’s Rural Development program has been awarding loans and grants to expand high-speed internet infrastructure.

Why do farms need broadband? MN farmers will let you know

KSTP TV reports on the need for broadband in rural areas…

Growing up, Joe Sullivan envisioned a life behind the wheel of a tractor.

But the farmer from Franklin, Minnesota spends most days at a computer with his smartphone nearby.

An app tells Sullivan the location and status of every piece of equipment on the farm. Software maps every acre of land, revealing detailed information about crop yields and soil health. Each building, including the large pole barns that store tractors, is hooked up to Wi-Fi.

“We’ve been pretty early adopters of technology,” Sullivan said. “It’s a complete game changer once you are connected and can actually utilize all the tools that are out there.”

Many other farmers in rural Minnesota want to incorporate the latest technology into their operations, like Sullivan, but unreliable internet and non-existent broadband infrastructure make that impossible.

“It is a huge, huge disadvantage if you’re the ‘have nots,’” Sullivan said.

BBC chat on digital equity projects in Big Stone, Lincoln and Pine Counties, Austin and Warroad

Last week the BBC (Blandin Broadband Communities) final cohort met to catch up with what was happening in each community.

Here’s a very high level list of what happening:

  • Big Stone has smart rooms and training through PioneerTV. The are trying to get local government folks to join via streaming versus travel unnecessarily.
  • Lincoln is adding hotspots, adding an Internet safety class and an at-home at Lincoln County program and is getting fiber to some of the last areas.
  • Austin has hosted a PCs for People event (refurbished computer distribution), working on privacy internet kiosks so that people can privately get public access to the Internet, working on getting seniors more comfortable with technology with an online trivia event and digital literacy training.
  • Pine County held come “Going Google” classes, working with a provider to build towers for fixed wireless and working in another areas on deploying fiber.
  • Warroad is working on Wi-Fi on sporting fields to aid in livestreaming, completed Wi-Fi on school buses and enhancing backbone coming into Warroad.

 

Telehealth is part of the solution to the maternity care desert in Fillmore County

The Post Bulletin reports

In its 2022 report , March of Dimes calls Fillmore County a maternity care desert, defined as having zero hospitals or birth centers offering obstetric (OB) care and zero OB/GYN physicians or certified nurse midwives based in the county. This lack of close-to-home maternity care impacts hundreds of Fillmore County families each year — in 2020, 222 infants were born to county residents. A majority of those babies (57.1%) were delivered in Olmsted County, with only 44 recorded home births in Fillmore County that year.

“I think the maternity care desert thing is only going to get worse and worse, and it very much plays into our maternal mortality rates, unfortunately,” said Katie Duerr, a certified nurse midwife at Winona Health in Winona. “It’s scary.”

Telehealth (as well as easier access to insurance coverage beyond borders) is offered as part of the solution…

For health care providers in Minnesota, telemedicine can help reduce the frequency of in-person visits without compromising care for pregnant patients. At Mayo Clinic, Butler Tobah is the research program leader for OB Nest , a telemedicine model for low-risk pregnancies. OB Nest shifts about half of a pregnant patient’s visits to virtual ones, and providers show patients how to use self-monitoring devices, such as fetal heart rate Dopplers, to monitor their pregnancies from home.

 

Who telecommuted during COVID and what does that tell us about future use in Minnesota?

The West Central Tribune reports

new study from University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Department of Transportation offers the most comprehensive look to date at how telecommuting in Minnesota has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

In 2020, Minnesota saw a pivotal shift in the number of people working from home due to the pandemic. MnDOT wanted to capture Minnesota-specific data to understand who is working from home, how it is going, and what the future might look like.

Findings:

  • While the image of an average telecommuter tends to skew young, Extension researchers found that Baby Boomers — the oldest among workers — telecommuted the most. The researchers surveyed more than 1,200 Minnesota employees and employers, in addition to conducting focus groups.
  • Looking forward, the state can expect the greatest levels of telecommuting from people with longer commutes, two-year college degrees and metro-area homes. The data serves as a snapshot in time; it has evolved since 2021 and will continue to change.
  • Whereas three-quarters of employees reported that their organizations will allow teleworking at least part-time post-COVID, not all employers are on board. Nearly a quarter of surveyed employers oppose all but the most minimal telecommuting going forward, even if work allows for it.
  • Greater Minnesota respondents were more likely to telecommute no more than one day a week post-pandemic, while Twin Cities respondents were more likely to telecommute two to three days a week. However, there was no difference between Greater Minnesota and the metro area if respondents were likely to commute four to five days a week.
  • People with children at home are more likely to have formal post-pandemic telecommuting agreements with their employers.
  • Roughly a quarter of employers may recruit completely remote talent from outside of Minnesota.

Telehealth care effective alternative for lowering blood pressure

Main Site News reports

For the new study, researchers compared two types of care for moderately severe, uncontrolled high blood pressure: traditional clinic-based care, using face-to face visits with doctors and medical assistants, and telehealth care, with home blood pressure telemonitoring and home-based care coordinated via telephone by a pharmacist or in some cases, a nurse. The research was conducted on 3,071 people, whose average age was 60, in a randomized trial involving 21 primary care clinics in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The telehealth and the clinic-based care were both successful in lowering blood pressure on average by about 18 mmHg on the systolic blood pressure, the “top number” in a reading, and 10 mmHg on the diastolic measurement, or “bottom number.” But there was no significant difference in the change over time in systolic or diastolic blood pressure between the two groups, researchers found.

The study was published Tuesday in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.

“These results suggest telehealth team care by pharmacists is an effective and safe alternative to clinic-based care for uncontrolled hypertension,” said Dr. Karen Margolis, the study’s lead author.

Launch Minnesota Awards Over $1M in Innovation Grants to Startups

Always fun to see Minnesota innovation shared through a DEED email alert…

Today the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced $1,189,500 in Launch Minnesota Innovation Grant awards to startups across the state. The grants were awarded to 43 startups, over half of which are led by entrepreneurs of color, veterans, women, or located in Greater Minnesota.

Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants target the most promising, innovative and scalable technology businesses in Minnesota. The grants help reduce the risk for Minnesota technology startups and entrepreneurs who are solving problems and growing the state’s innovation ecosystem.

“The launch of new technology startups is central to Minnesota’s overall competitiveness, because our startup ecosystem has an outsized impact on our state,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “These grants encourage more Minnesotans to build the next big thing – creating jobs and opportunities in industries of the future.”

Since its inception during the 2019 legislative session, Launch Minnesota has awarded 245 Innovation Grants totaling $6M to 176 unique grantees – accelerating the growth of startups and amplifying Minnesota as a national leader in innovation.

The program has $3M this biennium, $1.5M each fiscal year to provide grants to high-growth startups. Launch Minnesota has $310,500 remaining this fiscal year, which ends June 2023.

“Putting capital in the hands of founders is making a difference,” said Launch Minnesota Executive Director Neela Mollgaard. “These businesses are growing and solving big problems that will define our state’s next chapter.”

Innovation Grants include business operations, which provide up to $35,000 for research and development, direct business expenses and technical assistance, and Small Business Innovation Research / Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Matching Grants, for first time Phase I and Phase II awardees and that are based on sliding scales of their federal awards. Businesses are eligible to receive one of each grant over the two-year period.

The following companies received grants:

Adapt Design Works LLC (Business Operations): Developing an app-connected system that monitors and prevents pressure injuries for wheelchair users.

Agitated Solutions Inc (Business Operations): Provides agitated saline as contrast during ultrasound procedures.

Astrin Biosciences Inc (SBIR/STTR): Developing single-cell diagnostic tools and precision therapies to transform cancer mortality.

Binary Bridge SBC (Business Operations): Bringing health equity and clinic modernization to emerging economies with an innovative digital health records system.

Bus Stop Mamas LLC (Business Operations): Workforce engagement tool that provides businesses access to an untapped talent pool of educated stay-at-home moms.

C Drager LLC (Business Operations): Online platform for farmers and independent meat market producers to sell directly to consumers.

Canomiks Inc (SBIR/STTR): Developing an AI-based platform to test and certify biological efficacy and safety for the food, beverage and dietary supplement industry.

Carba Inc (Business Operations):  Permanently removes and buries large quantities of carbon monoxide from the atmosphere.

Cerovations LLC (SBIR/STTR): Medtech development focused on neurosurgical, urologic/gynecologic and cardiac inventions.

Clean Chickens and Co. LLC (Business Operations): Mobile Poultry Processing Unit that is both USDA inspected and Halal Certified.

CoraVie Medical: (Business Operations and SBIR/STTR) Developing a subcutaneous, continuous blood pressure monitor.  

Daynamica Inc (SBIR/STTR): Application for collecting, processing and understanding human activity and travel behavior data.

Detect Auto Inc (Business Operations): Computer vision-based analytics platform for auto repair shops providing analytics and insights on shop performance with AI. 

Empower Independence Company LLC (Business Operations): Developing a shower system that enables individuals with physical limitations to provide self-care, increase independence and enhance safety in the shower.

Exergi Predictive Inc (SBIR/STTR): Developing machine learning software products for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Frontline Biotechnologies Inc (Business Operations): Researching a novel eDNA sorbent kit for use as a diagnostic tool for aquatic disease and invasive species.

Hayaa LLC (Business Operations): Providing culturally appropriate sanitary wear for Muslim healthcare workers.

Heart Failure Solutions Inc (Business Operations): Assisting heart failure patients that have been diagnosed with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.

Isola Therapeutics Inc: Business Operations and SBIR/STTR) Developing a local drug delivery platform to treat lung cancer and esophageal cancer.

Loon Medical LLC (SBIR/STTR): Developing a mobile application with a quality-controlled collection of clinical signs and outcome monitoring meant for infants and preschoolers with respiratory illnesses.

MarPam Pharma LLC (SBIR/STTR): Developing a one-time treatment for HIV that eliminates the need to take daily antiretroviral medications.

Morari Inc (Business Operations): Developed a chemical-free Bluetooth-enabled wearable patch for the treatment of premature ejaculation.

NeuraWorkx Medical Technologies Inc (Business Operations): Developing a non-invasive bioelectronic and digital health solution by enhancing the brain’s glymphatic system to slow its aging process.

Neurotype Inc (Business Operations): Researching and developing portable brain sensing tools to support the recovery of people who struggle with substance use disorders.

Nightware Inc (SBIR/STTR): Prescription digital therapeutic system for the reduction of sleep disturbance related to nightmare disorder or nightmares from post-traumatic stress disorder.

NovoClade Inc (SBIR/STTR): Working to bring chemical-free environmentally friendly insect control to market.

Nucleic Sensing Systems LLC (SBIR/STTR): Developing technology for the autonomous detection and verification of biological organisms.

Parkpoolr LLC (Business Operations): Offering modern parking management including property management, advertising, payment collection and more.

REMastered Sleep LLC: (Business Operations  and SBIR/STTR) Myofunctional therapy water bottle providing a simple solution to improve airway health and get better sleep.

Sasya Inc (SBIR/STTR): Developing low-cost, high-performing feed additives for the swine feed market.

Sarcio Inc (Business Operations): Developing an osteoarthritis regenerative cell therapy.

Shape Medical Systems Inc (SBIR/STTR): Validating new methods developed by Shape to detect early-stage pulmonary arterial hypertension.

SIID Technologies LLC (Business Operations): Applies principles of machine learning and data science to develop SaaS software products that mitigate algorithmic bias within legal practices.

Superior Nano LLC (SBIR/STTR): Developing nano-dosage forms of drug molecules and nano-drug delivery technology.

TearRestore Inc (Business Operations): At-home device replacing in-office treatment for dry eye sufferers.

Teqnizan Inc (Business Operations): Offers a patented music earring that connects to Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Tiumed LLC (Business Operations): Creating an electro-surgical device targeting benign prostatic hyperplasia surgeries.

TriOxLLC (Business Operations): Developing an at-home appliance that sterilizers a prosthetic sleeve.

TurnSignl Inc (Business Operations): On-demand legal guidance from an attorney to drivers.

 Weathervane Labs LLC (SBIR/STTR): App with personalized weather insights.

Visit LaunchMinnesota.org or the Launch Minnesota grants section of the DEED website to learn more about grant opportunities, see a listing of grant recipients and access application materials.

Inbound Health, an Allina Health offshoot, offers hospital-at-home services

According to a press release on Business Wire

Allina Health and Flare Capital Partners today announced the launch of Inbound Health, a new company that enables health systems and health plans to offer hospital-at-home and skilled nursing-at-home programs. These innovative new care models create the ability to care for patients requiring facility-level acute or post-acute care in their home, thereby improving patient access, satisfaction, and outcomes while lowering total cost of care.

Inbound Health provides the full stack of capabilities that are required to scale at-home care models including home-based care pathways, virtual care teams, engagement and workflow technology, analytics, supply chain partnerships, operational oversight and payment models. The company’s flexible partnership structure enables customers to leverage their existing assets and capabilities while relying on Inbound Health to fill the gaps required to scale these programs across their service area

To date, more than 4,200 patients across 185 primary diagnoses have been cared for through the Inbound Health platform, which has been operational in Allina Health’s service area since May 2020. The program has allowed Allina Health to manage a wider swath of the continuum of care for its patients, thereby ensuring that care is delivered in a safe, coordinated and patient-centric manner. The company combines biometric monitoring, digital surveillance, in-home nursing and therapy, virtual visits with hospitalists and geriatricians, and a comprehensive supply chain to deliver a safe and high-quality care program.

Inbound Health has proven that the program lowers total-cost-of-care by 30-40% on a risk-adjusted basis while achieving similar or improved clinical outcomes when compared to traditional facility-based care. These outcomes have enabled Inbound Health and Allina to develop unique episodic-based payer contracts with multiple Commercial and Medicare Advantage payers in Minnesota, a payment model that the company plans on replicating with partners in other markets.