Hospitals, Startups

NewYork-Presbyterian’s NYP Ventures director highlights strategic investment strategy

NYP Ventures Director Jonathan Gordon talked about the fund’s investments, the first of which was telehealth startup Avizia’s Series A round.

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NewYork-Presbyterian has followed the increasingly well-trodden path of other health systems such as Kaiser Permanente, Cedars-Sinai, and Inova Health System with the launch of an investment arm of its own —NYP Ventures. In a phone interview with MedCity News, NYP Ventures Director Jonathan Gordon called attention to some of the investment priorities for the fund, which has an initial commitment of $15 million.

Gordon, who has served as a director for strategy at NewYork-Presbyterian since 2010 and has also worked as a healthcare entrepreneur, said it would target investments in health IT startups from the seed to Series B stage. A $1 million investment in Avizia marked the fund’s first investment. The telemedicine startup closed a $17 million Series A round last month and NewYork-Presbyterian has been a customer for a while.

NYP Ventures was a syndicate co-investor in Avizia, said Gordon, and that’s the approach the firm plans to enlist for other investments. NYP Ventures is not going to lead investments at this time, Gordon noted. He highlighted some of the criteria informing NYP Ventures’ strategy:

  • Improving the patient and clinician experience of care through technology;
  • Keeping tabs on and getting insights on technology that may not have a big impact in the short term but will in the future;
  • Fostering a culture of innovation in close conjunction with the NYP Innovation Center; and
  • Develop a financial return.

NewYork-Presbyterian created NYP Ventures based on its success with the NYP Innovation Center, which got its start in 2014. There are plans to add a Silicon Valley office this winter in addition to the New York City headquarters, the press release noted. Through NYP Ventures, the health system will leverage its investments in Avizia and other companies to expand digital health offerings for patients.

Gordon said although it will continue to pay attention to the telehealth space, some of the other digital health technologies NYP Ventures is considering are process optimization technology, advanced analytics, and digital access technology, which includes physician search and scheduling services.

“If the technology is not relevant to what we do as a hospital system, we’re not interested,” Gordon said.

NYP Ventures is part of a growing trend of health systems launching investment divisions to identify suitable technology partners for their hospitals but also provide critical insight into the evolution of digital health tools. Providence Ventures was founded in 2014 to manage a $150 million venture capital fund on behalf of Providence Health & Services. Cedars-Sinai partnered with MemorialCare Health System to create Summation Health Ventures the same year. Other examples include Inova Health System, which launched a $100 million fund dedicated to precision medicine investments earlier this year. Raleigh, North Carolina-based UNC Rex Healthcare also has an investment arm — Rex Health Ventures, a venture capital fund launched in 2012.

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