Madison Startup Asthmapolis Wins Twilio and Union Square Ventures Contest

Capital Entrepreneurs member Greg Tracy’s new startup Asthmapolis took first prize in Twilio and Union Square Ventures’ contest to create the best app on Twilio.  They beat out 50 other startups with “a terrifically broad range of applications, from fun simple hacks to ambitious projects,” writes Albert Wenger of Union Square Ventures.

The Asthmapolis team, made up of veteran entrepreneurs Tracy, David Van Sickle, and Mark Gehring, hope to help asthma patients and their doctors learn more about when and where asthma patients use their inhalers.  There are two main parts to the Asthmapolis system.  The first part is the Spiroscout, “a device that uses GPS to determine the time and location when an inhaler is used, and then stores or sends that information to a remote server.”  When an asthma patient uses their inhaler, the Spiroscout system logs the time, place and stores it for later use.

The second part is the mobile dairy.  By using mobile diary, “you can map and track asthma symptoms, triggers, and your use of rescue and controller medications, and other important events from any phone with a web browser,” write the founders on the Asthmapolis website.  Users can also choose to receive text messages about location, missed doses and other interesting information that might help them manage their asthma.

The Asthmapolis team added additional functionality with Twilio for the contest so that Asthmapolis users without smart phones can now report about their inhaler uses.  Union Square Ventures seemed most excited about the SMS capabilities because so much of the world does not have smart phones.  Adding SMS allows the Asthmapolis team to enter into a much larger market.

As more users adopt the system, Asthmapolis will be able to gather huge amounts of data about where, when and how patients are using their inhalers.  “From a business perspective, that offers an important long-term defensibility,” writes USV’s Wegner. “We’re looking forward to meeting with Greg and David from Asthmapolis in New York.”

“The Twilio platform is a perfect fit for us as we expand our mobile interfaces,” writes cofounder Greg Tracy, “The fact that the Union Square Ventures team is recognizing our platform is great validation and we’re looking forward to spending some time with them in New York.”

It’s great to see a startup that mixes the web with medical devices coming out of Madison.  Madison startups are starting to get national recognition, which can only be good for the Madison startup ecosystem as a whole.  You can follow the Asthmapolis team’s progress on Twitter or on their blog.

What is Asthmapolis? from Asthmapolis on Vimeo.

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