Rhinogram recognized for growth, named Startup of the Year as pandemic fuels demand for its virtual health services

Staff photo by Erin O. Smith / Kathy Ford, president and chief product officer of Rhinogram, gives her pitch during the HealthTech Accelerator Demo Day at Unum in June 2019. Rhinogram won the 2020 Startup of the Year award Thursday during Startup Week. The business connects patients, clinicians and office administrators through confidential, text-based interactions in real time.

A Chattanooga-based company that helps 5.5 million people access health care through text messages won both the Startup of the Year award and the High-Growth Company of the Year award on Thursday.

"Everybody needs and deserves to get care, and this platform enables that," said Kathy Ford, the president and chief product officer for Rhinogram. "There are certainly a lot of challenges happening in health care right now and we're so grateful to be able to contribute to solving some of the problems that exist."

The Startup Awards were part of an annual week-long showcase and celebration of Chattanooga's entrepreneurial community. Startup Week moved online this year.

[Read more: Chattanooga CBD startup and 2020 Spirit of Innovation winner Landrace Bioscience grows its influence.]

"It's super exciting for Chattanooga right now because we're really emerging as our own health care IT and health care innovation hub," Ford said during the virtual recognition event.