Mississippi Digital News

Narratrip and ppx-TEC Receive Mississippi Seed Fund Awards


Innovate Mississippi is excited to announce two new Mississippi Seed Fund award recipients this Fall.

Narratrip, LLC plans to work with state travel departments and other tourism bureaus to build mobile apps geared explicitly to tourists interested in history, heritage and authentic local experiences. CTO Derek Norsworthy said that, eventually, they’d like to develop an app that integrates with existing GPS tools so that users get audio summaries of and directions to historic sites, roadside markers and must-see dining, music and art experiences.

“Just off the beaten path is usually the best-kept secret,” said Norsworthy. “We miss those so many times—we don’t know they’re there.”

With a $10,000 proof-of-concept award from the Mississippi Seed Fund, the Narratrip team, led by CEO and Founder Lamar Gordon, will be furthering their research into who the app’s target user will be while they develop a minimum viable product (“MVP”) to bring to market.

Norsworthy credits the Innovate Mississippi team with “knowledge, wisdom, leadership and guidance” to help them take their idea and “grow where they grew” by developing the new company within Mississippi and with the help of Mississippi institutions.

The Seed Fund’s other proof-of-concept recipient, ppx-TEC, is the developer of middleware technology to help apps and APIs connect so people can “keep up with their holistic healthcare histories.” Founder Debra Griffin says she decided to start ppx-TEC after a battle with breast cancer in 1989 and a career with rural hospitals in Mississippi. Those experiences helped her believe that “healthcare is a right” and that access to your healthcare data is critical for quality care.

The idea is to put the patient at the center of their healthcare record-keeping. In one example, the patient receives their healthcare data right at the doctor’s office front window “seamlessly, real-time, in Bluetooth,” Griffin said. “You’re at the doctor’s office; you’re leaving; they’ve got something ready. You check out and connect using a Bluetooth code; your data drops onto your device and aggregates into that record.”

Of course, the world of medical data is fraught and complex—government mandates, security concerns and requirements, and all sorts of systems that store patient data. So a big part of finding a solution for patient data is figuring out who will pay ppx-TEC for their work.

“My customer is anybody who needs interoperability compliance,” said Griffin. “The initial customer I’m going after is managed-care organizations.”

Managed-care organizations get payments for each Medicaid patient in their network in 39 states. As the federal government pushes providers away from “fee-for-service” and toward “value-based” care, that patient data becomes even more critical. The organization will need to measure those outcomes and work with patients to understand their healthcare goals and milestones.

Griffin says that ppx-TEC is integrated into Apple HealthKit. The company’s developers are diving deep into HealthKit’s ecosystem to assess other metrics for monitoring and measuring quality care. “Our focus is actionable, real-time data that tells the correct story, in its entirety, over time,” Griffin said.

Griffin, who bootstrapped this project herself, sees the recent Mississippi Seed Fund award helping PPX-TEC work more on that integration. She also says that working with Innovate Mississippi has helped her plug into other state resources. She hopes to develop this technology in partnership with the state of Mississippi so the company can grow here while assisting Mississippians with their healthcare outcomes.

“I’m looking for my local state to champion [this technology] and help me get into the market … and to provide a service to those who could benefit,” said Griffin. “Innovation and technology can come through anybody—even somebody who looks like me and who is my age!”

And her mission is bold: “The empowerment that comes from sharing in the ownership of one’s holistic medical data can save lives,” she said.

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