4 Houston innovators to know this week
Editor's note: In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to four local innovators across industries — from digital health to research — recently making headlines in Houston innovation.
Tatiana Fofanova, co-founder and CEO of Koda Health
Tatiana Fofanova, co-founder and CEO of Koda, joined the Houston Innovators Podcast to discuss her company's growth. Image via LinkedIn
It's Tatiana Fofanova's goal to have Koda Health's platform — a B2B Enterprise SaaS solution that guides patients through the process of proactive healthcare planning and document authentication — active in all 50 states by the end of the first quarter of 2023. She's already halfway there.
The tech platform allows for patients and their providers to get on the same page for their care. Fofanova describes the platform as similar to TurboTax — users answer a series of questions and the program provides a care plan then shared with the patient's doctors. This greatly simplifies — and democratizes — the process for patients and providers both.
"The standard of care for advanced care planning has traditionally been left to patients to do on their own — with estate planning attorney or through a direct-to-consumer solution," Fofanova says on this week's episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. Read more.
Rafael Verduzco, associate chair and a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice University
Rafael Verduzco is leading the research and development. Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University
A team of researchers from Rice University have received a $2 million grant to develop a unique technology that speeds up the analysis of wastewater for viruses from hours to seconds. The team is based out of Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering and led by Rafael Verduzco, associate chair and a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering. The four-year grant from the National Science Foundation will support the development of the technology, which includes wastewater-testing bioelectric sensors that deliver immediate notice of presence of viruses like SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, according to a news release from Rice.
“Monitoring wastewater for COVID has been pretty effective as a way to get an idea of where we are as a population,” says Verduzco in the release. “But the way it’s done is you have to sample it, you have to do a PCR test and there’s a delay. Our selling point was to get real-time, continuous monitoring to see just how much of this virus is in the wastewater.” Read more.
Sujata “Su” Bajaj as CTO and Dakisha Allen as head of product of Yuvo Health
Two Houstonians have been named to the executive board of a New York startup. Photos courtesy of Yuvo Health
ANew York City-based, tech-enabled health administrative and managed care solution has announced the latest addition to its C-suite — including two executives based in Houston.
Yuvo Health, which provides community health centers a tech platform for managing care, announced the appointment of Sujata “Su” Bajaj as CTO and Dakisha Allen as head of product. Additionally, the startup named New York-based Anthony Thompson as head of development and Ishaan Jalan as chief of staff.
“It is with tremendous pride and excitement that we announce the growth of our leadership team, especially as it is less than six months since our last corporate expansion,” says Cesar Herrera, CEO and co-founder of Yuvo Health. Read more.