Friday, February 26, 2010

ACME Express wants to take $35 million out of our healthcare costs

ACME Express wants to take $35 million out of our healthcare costs

ACME Express wants to take $35 million a year out of Ohio healthcare costs. So far, it's received a lot of help to pave the way.

The Cleveland-based software developer, founded in 1980, has caught the attention both of the federal government and the State of Ohio, which have helped fund research and development as well as commercialization of software that makes scheduling of medical personnel more efficient.

ACME Express was founded in 1980, and since then has developed products and services aimed at everything from logistics, to education, to medicine. These days, however, "we're focusing on healthcare," says President and Founder Don Scipione.

Grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Ohio Third Frontier have made it possible.

First came a $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the NIH in the late 1990s for Phase I "proof of concept" work. The successful completion of early work led to a Phase II grant for $250,000, Scipione says.

The company's successful DOCS scheduling software is now being used by 80 healthcare customers representing 5,000 doctors, Scipione says.

In 2009, ACME received a two-year, $350,000 grant from the Third Frontier's Ohio Research Commercialization Program to extend the product's reach into hospitals and clinics, where Scipione says the real healthcare savings will be. Meanwhile, the company is awaiting word on a pending Small Business Innovation Research Grant to extend the capabilities of the product to maximize savings.

Scipione, whose company went from 4.5 employees last year to a current seven, counts among his staff three interns attracted through the Ohio Third Frontier Internship Program.

Source: Don Scipione, ACME Express
Writer: Gene Monteith


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