Preventative Technologies headed to finals of Prime Health Challenge

LOVELAND — A former University of Northern Colorado professor and one of her former students are hoping a trip to the Prime Health Challenge finals in Denver next month will give their startup the exposure it needs to keep growing — regardless of whether they take home any of the $150,000 in prize money.

Preventative Technology Solutions — founded last year by Lisa Rue and Kate Lusczakoski — makes an Android app called Options that helps doctors conduct risk assessment for sexually transmitted diseases on patients 15 to 24 years old so that the doctor can spend more time during an appointment counseling patients rather than asking questions.

The app is aimed at the age demographic that it is, Rue said in a recent interview, because young people up to 24 years of age are most impacted by STDs. The 20-to-24 age group, she added, has one of the highest rates of unplanned pregnancies.

Options presents patients with a series of questions that they fill out on a tablet before meeting with their doctor. Based on the research conducted by Rue, the former UNC professor, and Lusczakoski, the app provides doctors with an instant report of demographic information, patients’ sexual risk level based on their behaviors, and strategies the doctors can use for communicating about the risks with their patients.

“The doctor’s empowered with a lot of information to maximize that time they have with the (patient),” Rue said.

Rue met Lusczakoski in 2006, when the latter was a student in UNC’s applied statistics and research methods program. Rue said the two often butted heads around how to best prevent sexually transmitted diseases, but she said she felt those differences in opinion made them a good match for research she’d won a grant to conduct.

The pair began field-testing software based on their research in 2013 and cofounded Preventative Technology Solutions last year.

While Preventative Technology Solutions is registered with the state with a Loveland address, the pair runs the company virtually at this point. Rue, a former Berthoud resident, now lives in Carbondale, while Lusczakoski lives in Loveland.

Options is being piloted at UCHealth and Banner Health clinics, mostly in Northern Colorado.

Rue and Lusczakoski have bootstrapped the company to this point, but recently secured $35,000 from an investor to help build out a 3.0 version of the app for both iOS and Android.

There’s a chance for more cash on the horizon, with the Prime Health Challenge finals in Denver on Oct. 19. The pitch competition began with 30 companies, and Preventative Technology Solutions was one of six to move on from a 14-team semifinal round on Sept. 19.

But more than the cash, Rue said the big upside of moving on in the challenge is the possibility that Options might catch the eye of representatives of other clinics and health systems in the audience interested in piloting the app.

“Whether we get the top spot or not, we’re getting exposure to the right potential customers and investors for our app,” Rue said.

LOVELAND — A former University of Northern Colorado professor and one of her former students are hoping a trip to the Prime Health Challenge finals in Denver next month will give their startup the exposure it needs to keep growing — regardless of whether they take home any of the $150,000 in prize money.

Preventative Technology Solutions — founded last year by Lisa Rue and Kate Lusczakoski — makes an Android app called Options that helps doctors conduct risk assessment for sexually transmitted diseases on patients 15 to 24 years old so that the doctor can spend more time during an appointment counseling patients rather than asking questions.

The app is aimed at the age demographic that it is, Rue said in a recent interview, because young people up to 24 years of age are most impacted by STDs. The 20-to-24 age group, she added, has one of the highest rates of unplanned pregnancies.

Options presents patients with a series of questions that they fill out on a tablet before meeting with their doctor. Based on the research conducted by Rue, the former UNC professor, and Lusczakoski, the app provides doctors with an instant report of demographic information, patients’ sexual risk level based on their behaviors, and strategies the doctors can use for communicating about the risks with their patients.

“The doctor’s empowered with a lot of information to maximize that time they have with the (patient),” Rue said.

Rue met Lusczakoski in 2006, when the latter was a student in UNC’s applied statistics and…