By: J.D. Ross
(315) 443-3094

A student startup that participated in the Syracuse Student Sandbox incubator program during the summer of 2011 was invited last week to participate in a White House and Department of Health and Human Services forum on ways to encourage innovation and use new technologies to improve America’s health care systems.

Helios Technologies was represented by founder and CEO Luis Romo, a graduate of Syracuse University’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, at the meeting in Washington, D.C.

Romo’s company produces a device that uses ultraviolet light to sterilize door handles in hospitals and other medical settings. Before spending time in the Sandbox, Helios won the $40,000 grand prize in the New York State’s Business Plan Competition in 2011.

“As citizens, we can sit back and point out mistakes and challenges of any administration, or we can stand up and act to give constructive feedback on policies that are working well, and those that need refocusing,” said Romo.  “As a growing company focused on reducing healthcare-acquired infections, I hope that these private sector engagements continue.

In addition to hearing from business leaders, Obama administration officials updated the group on the Affordable Care Act’s implementation and outlined initiatives promoting the use of health information technology to make health care more accessible. They also focused on the new health care economy, public-private partnerships, and opportunities for reform to make the system more efficient and responsive.

This was the third meeting that Helios has been invited to by the White House Business Council.