Update below. This month, New York City is launching at least two new programs to help digital health startups provide solutions for the emerging technology gaps the healthcare industry is experiencing as they comply with provisions of the Affordable Care Act and HITECH Act.
PILOT Health Tech NYC was developed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Health 2.0. In an interview with MedCity News, Jean-Luc Neptune, senior vice president of Health 2.0, who works in its New York offices, said the initiative for early stage startups is neither an incubator, nor an accelerator. Instead, it’s a commercialization program to identify technology being developed by companies that healthcare payers, providers and pharmaceutical companies can use to meet specific challenges. It will use matchmaking events to drive that.
Neptune said the program has been in the works for more than a year and partly came out of Health 2.0′s program, Matchpoint and from market research conducted with the city’s healthcare stakeholders and startups. Healthcare stakeholders with little time to spend on “fishing” for solutions wanted more targeted solutions for clearly defined problems. Startups wanted better market access.
Startups chosen for the 10 finalist spots will receive $100,000 tied to meeting certain milestones and be given three to six months to work with the healthcare group they’re matched with, depending on the complexity of the program and needs of the stakeholder. Eligible startup applicants are not restricted by geography, but they do have to be in New York for the duration of the program.
Digital health accelerator Blueprint Health and StartUp Health are supporting the program by providing coaching and mentoring for startups. Unity Stoakes, co-founder of StartUp Health voiced his enthusiasm about the initiative, part of what he sees as an important development in the expansion of New York’s health IT ecosystem. “There’s an amazing momentum and collaboration in New York City. It’s really becoming a hub of digital health.”
Update A second program for healthcare startups, called Innovate Health Tech NYC, will be more like an innovation challenge. Pre-revenue companies will compete for 50,000 in prizes to develop innovative medtech voted on by the public. Examples of the kind of technology it’s seeking are wireless health monitoring devices, mobile applications, clinical workflow management tools and healthcare analytics tools.
Among the submission requirements, applicants have to: outline the healthcare needs their technology fills, the target users, what makes it urgent, explain the path to commercialization, demonstrate its value, and explain how it would be marketed and sold, including details like sales channels and pricing. The deadline for submissions is May 2 at 5pm. Nine finalists will be picked between May 22 and June 13. The public will be also able to vote on all the applicants to choose their own finalist. Demo day for all the finalists when the winners will be selected is July 10.
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