New York City is growing its profile not just as a hub of healthcare IT but also as a launchpad for healthcare IT startups with the latest platform in the city, New York Digital Health Accelerator. The program is looking for 12 applicants by June 1.
The goal of the public-private partnership program is to get early and growth stage companies with tools that could be used for the state’s Medicaid Redesign Team “Health Homes” initiative to make Medicaid patient treatment more coordinated and efficient.
The program, run by the New York ehealth Collaborative and New York Investment Fund, is looking for companies with tools that cover several areas that include care coordination, identifying high risk patients and notifying patients of follow-up care appointments (based on standard criteria for risk), alerts, clinical decision support technology and tools that facilitate patient engagement to improve communication for care management between providers and the patients along with their family members. Among the patient engagement areas it is seeking applications for are telehealth, consent management, patient portals, personal health records and medication adherence.
Hospitals and healthcare systems tend to be very cautious about working with external vendors on health IT applications, which can make it a bit of a challenge for companies to get an audience with providers, let alone convincing them to adopt their technology. About 18 healthcare providers are participating as mentors in the program.
A spokesman for the program said that by starting the accelerator, it will attract the best minds in the industry to come up with innovative approaches to improving healthcare.
Companies chosen for the program will get up to $300,000, including $100,000 at the start of the program, with an additional $200,000 at the four-month checkpoint provided that they meet milestones set by the venture capitals and providers participating in the program. Among the investors that have provided $4.2 million for the program are Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE:SFE), Quaker Partners, UnitedHealth Group, New York City Investment Fund, New Leaf Venture Partners, Milestone Venture Partners and Aetna.
Technology experts will help participants customize and integrate their tools with New York’s network that integrates all of the electronic health record (EHR) data across the state.
The launch of the New York Digital Health Accelerator follows the launch of Welltech Funding’s health and wellness technology incubator last month. Seed-stage accelerator Blueprint Health’s inaugural class graduated last month and is currently recruiting for its summer program.
Among the applicant criteria for the New York Digital Health Accelerator are the management’s track record, whether the company’s product matches the applications sought and the company’s stage of development. Although participants need to be based in New York for the duration of the program, it is open to companies outside of the state.