Meet the LA-Based Health Tech Companies Building Solutions To Help People Manage Their Health

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Meet the LA-Based Health Tech Companies Building Solutions To Help People Manage Their Health
Courtesy of Healthvana

The coronavirus outbreak cast fear across the nation, but the pandemic was extremely stress inducing for those who were medically at-risk. Coupled with the 200,000 health care workers who left the profession last year, there is a bigger need for products and devices that people with medical ailments can rely on wherever they are.

Here’s a look at three local health tech companies creating those solutions and products that aim to help people manage and better their health.



If you’re familiar with Healthvana, it’s probably because the company was known for distributing digital health records during the pandemic. But prior to COVID-19, the Los Angeles-based health tech and software company focused its efforts on HIV prevention.

In 2020, there were 50,243 people living with HIV in Los Angeles County and another 1,382 people were newly diagnosed.

Since 2015, the company’s goal has always been to end HIV and while the pandemic shifted their focus, founder and CEO Ramin Bastani said Healthvana is back to concentrating on its core mission. In December, the company announced its partnership with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the launch of a new study to see if a digital watch (in this use case, it is an Apple watch) can help end the HIV epidemic.

“A lot of health care just feels super slow and archaic,” Bastani told dot.LA, “and when you’re talking about a population that wants instant information to their phones, the next evolution is a wearable.”

So how does it work?

Every city will select 100 patients to receive a digital watch at no cost to help them stay consistent with PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis)—a once a day pill for men who sexually engage with other men. While PrEP is considered to be 99% effective in preventing HIV, Bastani said “patients who start PrEP, don’t always stay on it.”

Bastani said, prior to this study, Healthvana would send patients who started PrEP a couple reminders throughout the month to check in and see how they are doing.

“We are that software layer that helps communicate from the clinic to the patient,” Bastani said.

But for the study, Healthvana will send daily reminders to each patient through the digital watch to see if this new method will help those who are at risk of HIV to stay consistent in taking PrEP.

The study officially started in January and the five cities participating include Los Angeles, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Houston, Texas and Broward County, Florida.

Bastani admitted that Healthvana has no part in selecting the patients that will participate in the study. The candidates will be selected by health care providers through the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

Gather Labs

Gather Labs Beverly Hills location Courtesy of Gather Labs

During the height of the pandemic, fashion and bra designer Rachael McCrary was stuck at home with nothing to do so she helped her friend obtain FDA approval on his nucleic acid collection swab.

As soon as McCrary submitted the work, the research organization that handled their clinical trials encouraged McCrary to stop making bras and focus her efforts on diagnostics. But when she did, McCrary quickly learned that the labs they were using were, as she put it, “just a terrible, archaic, dinosaur way of working.”

Her frustration with the lab is what sparked the idea to create Gather Labs, a Beverly Hills-based biotechnology company and CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) lab that offers rapid diagnostic testing for patients and health providers.

“I fell in love with testing and it’s really cool to get information about your body,” McCrary said. “What’s not cool is going to Quest or LabCorp, waiting forever and you don’t know when you’re getting your test back.”

Some of Gather’s competitors like Labcorp state that it can take several days to complete the test, while Mayo Clinic’s website says COVID testing will be sent out within 1 to 3 days, but it can take longer in locations with test processing delays.

She added, “I just like people being in charge of their data and people really like diagnostics when you can get it really fast.”

Since its launch in 2022, Gather has over 100 test offerings that range from infectious diseases to toxicology. Some of their most popular tests include a 15 minute rapid antigen test ($55), 29 minute PCR test ($120), 30 minute pregnancy test ($40) and a 30 minute Influenza A+B test ($65).

On average, Gather receives over 1,500 tests each day. But what sets Gather apart is the company’s fast turnaround times varying from 15 minutes to 48 hours.

“We're just willing to run everything immediately. I could see why they weren't willing to do that,” McCrary said. “It is a little more expensive, but our priorities are patient care.”

CARI Health

Left to right: CARI Health’s chief scientific officer Torsten Fiebig and CEO Patrik Schmidle. Courtesty of CARI Health.

After Patrik Schmidle witnessed a close family member struggle with opioid use, the idea for CARI Health, a digital health startup was born.

Data from Launch Centers reports that the rate of opioid use in Los Angeles sits at 4.7%, which is higher than the national rate of 4.3%. These numbers prove that there is a need for new solutions, especially in Los Angeles to ensure that the percentage of opioid use goes down.

The San Diego-based company looking to help bring that number down just raised its seed round in January to continue developing its Remote Medication Monitors (RMM) that will allow clinicians to prescribe medications and receive real-time reporting on medication levels.

CARI is still in its early stages, but the RMM is intended to be worn by patients remotely. So as each patient takes their medication, CARI’s device will monitor how much each patient consumed and send alerts to their physician as well as help clinicians make dosage adjustments and can prevent patients from overdosing.

“The strategy is to gain entry in the marketplace by launching medications that are used to treat opioid addiction,” Schmidle said. “But our technology is flexible enough to move into other disease use cases. So we're in the process of prioritizing where we go next.”

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Andria is the Social and Engagement Editor for dot.LA. She previously covered internet trends and pop culture for BuzzFeed, and has written for Insider, The Washington Post and the Motion Picture Association. She obtained her bachelor's in journalism from Auburn University and an M.S. in digital audience strategy from Arizona State University. In her free time, Andria can be found roaming LA's incredible food scene or lounging at the beach.

‘Expand Past the Stage’: How These LA-based Ticketing Platforms are Using The Metaverse to Take On Ticketmaster
Evan Xie

When Taylor Swift announced her ‘Eras’ tour back in November, all hell broke loose.

Hundreds of thousands of dedicated Swifties — many of whom were verified for the presale — were disappointed when Ticketmaster failed to secure them tickets, or even allow them to peruse ticketing options.

But the Taylor Swift fiasco is just one of the latest in a long line of complaints against the ticketing behemoth. Ticketmaster has dominated the event and concert space since its merger with Live Nation in 2010 with very few challengers — until now.

Adam Jones, founder and CEO of Token, a fan-first commerce platform for events, said he has the platform and the tech ready to take it on. First and foremost, with Token, Jones is creating a system where there are no queues. In other words, fans know immediately which events are sold out and where.

“We come in very fortunate to have a modern, scalable tech stack that's not going to have all these outages or things being down,” Jones said. “That's step one. The other thing is we’re being aggressively transparent about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. So with the Taylor Swift thing…you would know in real time if you actually have a chance of getting the tickets.”

Here’s how it works: Users register for Token’s app and then purchase tickets to either an in-person event, or an event in the metaverse through Animal Concerts. The purchased ticket automatically shows up in the form of a mintable NFT, which can then be used toward merchandise purchases, other ticketed events or, Adams’s hope for the future — external rewards like airline travel. The more active a user is on the site, the more valuable their NFT becomes.

Ticketmaster has dominated the music industry for so long because of its association with big name artists. To compete, Token is working on gaining access to their own slew of popular artists. They recently entered into a partnership with Animal Concerts, a live and non-live event experiences platform that houses artists like Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg and Robin Thicke.

“You'll see they do all the metaverse side of the house,” Jones said. “And we're going to be the [real-life] web3 sides of the house.”

In addition, Token prides itself on working with the artists selling on their platform to set up the best system for their fanbase, devoid of hefty prices and additional fees — something Ticketmaster users have often complained about. Jones believes where Ticketmaster fails, Token thrives. The app incentivizes users to share more data about their interests, venues and artists by operating on a kind of points system in the form of mintable NFTs.

“We can actually take the dataset and say there’s 100 million people in the globe that love Taylor Swift, so imagine she’s going on tour and we ask [the user], ‘Would you go to see her in Detroit?’ And imagine this place has 30,000 seats, but 100,000 people clicked ‘yes,’” he explained. “So you can actually inform the user before anything even happens, right? About what their options are and where to get it.”

Tixr, a Santa-Monica based ticketing app, was founded on the idea that modern ticketing platforms were “living in the legacy of the past.” They plan to attract users by offering them exclusive access to ticketed events that aren’t in Ticketmaster’s registry.

“It melts commerce that's beyond ticketing…to allow fans to experience and purchase things that don't necessarily have to do with tickets,” said Tixr CEO and Founder Robert Davari. “So merchandise, and experiences, and hospitality and stuff like that are all elegantly melded into this one, content driven interface.”

Tixr sells tickets to exclusive concerts like a Tyga performance at a night club in Arizona, general in-person festivals like ComplexCon, and partners with local vendors like The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach to sell tickets to the races. Plus, Davari said it’s equipped to handle high-demand, so customers aren’t spending hours waiting in digital queues.

Like Token, Tixr has also found success with a rewards program — in the form of fan marketing.

“There's nothing more powerful in the core of any event, brand, any live entertainment, [than] the community behind it,” Davari said. “So we build technology to empower those fans and to reward them for bringing their friends and spreading the word.”

Basically, if a user gets a friend to purchase tickets to an event, then the original user gets rewarded in the form of discounts or upgrades.

Coupled with their platforms’ ability to handle high-demand events, both Jones and Davari believe their platforms have what it takes to take on Ticketmaster. Expansion into the metaverse, they think, will also help even the playing field.

“So imagine you can't go to Taylor Swift,” Jones said. “What if you could purchase an exclusive to actually go to that exact same show over the metaverse? An artist’s whole world can expand past the stage itself.”

With the way ticketing for events works now, obviously not everyone always gets the exact price, venue or date they want. There are “winners and losers.” Jones’s hope is that by expanding beyond in-person events, there can be more winners.

“If there’s 100,000 people who want to go to one show and there's 37,000 seats, 70,000 are out,” he said. “You can't fight that. But what we can do is start to give them other opportunities to do things in a different way and actually still participate.”

Jones and Davari both teased that their platforms have some exciting developments in the works, but for now both Token and Tixr are set on making their own space within the industry.

“We simply want to advance this industry and make it more efficient and more pleasurable for fans to buy,” Davari said. “That's it.”