AMSTERDAM – Royal Philips has launched of its first global startup collaboration program involving Philips’ innovation hubs in the U.S., the Netherlands, India and China to focus on the application of artificial intelligence in health care. The company has selected 19 early stage startups for the incubator program, which will center on radiology, ultrasound and oncology. “We are already working closely with clinical partners to develop AI-enabled solutions that are grounded in scientific research and validated in clinical practice,” said Alberto Prado, head of Philips Healthworks, in a statement. “This new collaboration program recognizes the role that startup companies play in bringing breakthrough health care innovations to the market.” During the 12-week program, Philips will engage with the startups, aiming to validate their propositions; help to build, test and scale their ideas; and explore possible collaborations.
HOUSTON – Baird Capital is partnering with Texas Medical Center to fuel an infusion of growth capital into the provider’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Baird Capital is the direct private investment arm of Baird, an employee-owned wealth management, capital markets, asset management and private equity firm.
“This partnership is significant as it brings deep venture expertise in health care and technology as well as access to capital to Houston,” said Bill McKeon, president and CEO of Texas Medical Center, in a statement. “Texas Medical Center is excited to welcome Baird as a key component to our growing and unprecedented life science hub. This is yet another major milestone for establishing the Texas Medical Center as the Third Coast of life sciences.”
Baird Capital will establish an office in Texas Medical Center, which has a campus that spreads out to more than 1,400 acres and houses 21 hospitals, four medical schools, six nursing schools and more than 100,000 medical professionals. Together, Baird and Texas Medical Center leadership will explore and foster investment opportunities and link directly to Baird Capital’s global platform with the ability to tap into capital and expert advisors.
“Texas Medical Center’s unique position as a leading expert in the health care and life sciences sectors will be an invaluable advantage to Baird Capital and its portfolio companies and will serve as a significant asset in Baird’s continued growth and success,” said Steve Booth, president and CEO of Baird, in a statement. This partnership will provide a number of compelling opportunities for Baird Capital and TMC to share expertise and resources.”
LEXINGTON, Ky. — XLerateHealth, a health care technology accelerator, has received a $500,000 grant to create a biomedical technology hub to accelerate the commercialization of innovation.
The grant by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, a division of the National Institutes of Health, could total $3.5 million over three years.
XLerateHealth has joined with a consortium of 24 academic institutions, led by the University of Kentucky, in partnership with the University of Louisville and West Virginia University, on the project .
“This grant provides a unique opportunity to leverage XLerateHealth’s substantial experience working with researchers and startup founders to take a health care innovation to market,” said Jackie Willmot, co-founder and CEO of XLerateHealth, in a statement. “We are excited about partnering with the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville and West Virginia University, as well as the other institutions throughout the Southeast Region to move research from lab to market.”
This new grant will create an accelerator hub for biomedical technologies in the Southeast Institutional Development Award region, which includes Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and West Virginia.
The hub will be one of four NIGMS-funded hubs to help IDeA states accelerate early-stage biomedical technology from the laboratory to market. The goal is to enhance the capacity to move scientific results from academic institutions into commercialization and to promote a sustainable culture of biomedical entrepreneurship within IDeA states.
The grant will fund creation of an online virtual hub, through which XLerateHealth, UK, UofL and WVU can connect and share educational curriculum, resources and commercialization tools for utilization across the network of participating institutions. There will also be a focused intellectual property and technology transfer support services component for regional and Historically Black Colleges & Universities to assist where those services are not currently available.
“We look forward to seeing the impact this cutting-edge program will have in advancing opportunities for commercialization, information sharing, and the creation of life-changing products to benefit society,” said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, in a statement.
LOS ANGELES – The West Coast Consortium for Technology and Innovation in Pediatrics has been awarded $6.6 million over five years by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to continue its work in developing pediatric medical devices.
CTIP, based at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the University of Southern California, is one of five centers across the country awarded the FDA Pediatric Device Consortium grant offered by the Office of Orphan Products Development.
Established in 2011 and first funded by the FDA in 2013, CTIP promotes the commercialization and clinical use of pediatric medical device technology. The group fosters networking opportunities, direct and indirect financial support, and guidance on issues related to intellectual property, prototyping, engineering, testing, grant writing and clinical trial design—all on the road to getting the devices to market.
“Our mission is to improve health outcomes for our vulnerable pediatric population,” said Dr. Juan Espinoza, general pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and co-director of CTIP, in a statement. “To be recognized by the FDA as a center of excellence for pediatric innovation and to serve as a national resource for pediatric device development is both a great honor and great responsibility. We feel fortunate to be working with some of the finest institutions on the West Coast to support and foster collaboration in medical technology development.”
Over the past year, CTIP has focused on developing partnerships along the West Coast, bringing together a network of children’s hospitals, academic institutions, accelerators and incubators across California, Oregon and Washington. CTIP network members include the University of California, Los Angeles; Oregon Health & Science University; University of Southern California; University of California, San Diego; University of California, Berkeley; Seattle Children’s Hospital; Cedars-Sinai Accelerator; LA BioMed; and Project Zygote.
“We recognize that there are still many unmet needs facing pediatric patients, which motivates us to capitalize on our large network of multi-disciplinary stakeholders to identify and cultivate promising new technologies tailored to the needs of children,” said Dr. Yaniv Bar-Cohen, pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and co-director of CTIP, in a statement.
Since becoming an FDA-funded PDC, CTIP has supported 120 projects from 15 different states. As part of its second annual Catalyzing Pediatric Innovation Grant competition, CTIP recently awarded $235,000 in seed grants to six innovators developing new devices and technologies for young patients. The 2018 grant winners included a low-cost infant microbiome monitoring device for home or clinic use, a novel short arm exoskeleton to help treat orthopaedic fractures, an improved sound-delivery vest for treating respiratory conditions and a virtual reality system for treating pediatric chronic pain.
CHLA recently appointed its first-ever chief innovation officer, Omkar Kulkarni, with the goal of fostering innovation across CHLA’s clinical and research enterprises.
“Innovation in health care covers so much ground—from finding successful new methods of patient care to developing novel medical devices and digital health technologies—and the industry has yet to scratch the surface,” said Kulkarni in a statement. “Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has the expertise, experience and resources needed to lead the charge, and we are committed to pushing the boundaries of innovation to enhance the quality of care and health outcomes for the children we serve.”
MURRAY, Utah – Intermountain Healthcare has opened a 120,000-square-foot innovation center to focus on transforming the way health care is delivered. The Kem C. Gardner Transformation Center will advance health care innovation by creating tools to help caregivers and patients, including 3D technology. “We are stewards of Intermountain’s long tradition of innovation, and this Transformation Center will be a hotbed, locally, regionally, nationally and globally as we seek to advance that tradition,” said Dr. Marc Harrison, president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare, in a statement. Intermountain’s Clinical Program leadership teams of scientists and doctors will work at the new facility on more than 1,500 active research studies in more than 20 clinical areas. The Transformation Center is located on the campus of Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, and is named after Kem C. Gardner, who served on various Intermountain boards for 36 years and was chairman of the Intermountain Board of Trustees from 2007-12. He currently chairs the Intermountain Foundation Board. Gardner donated $20 million toward the construction of the Transformation Center.
MILWAUKEE – Advocate Aurora Health, Foxconn Technology Group, Johnson Controls and Northwestern Mutual are partnering to create the $100 million Wisconn Valley Venture Fund. The early-stage venture capital fund will invest both nationally and globally, targeting transformative and interdisciplinary innovations in health care, technology, manufacturing and financial services. Each organization will contribute $25 million to the fund. “As the global leader in technology and manufacturing services, we are uniquely positioned to promote the development of new and emerging technologies around the world,” said Terry Gou, founder and CEO of Foxconn Technology Group, in a statement. “We look forward to enabling entrepreneurs and startups to find success for transformative solutions through the fund.” Advocate Aurora Health operates 27 hospitals and more than 500 sites of care throughout Wisconsin and Illinois, serving more than 2 million patients each year. Johnson Controls creates intelligent buildings and efficient energy solutions. Northwestern Mutual is a life insurance company focused on technology in the region.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Dr. David Shulkin, the former secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is joining Sanford Health as CIO. In this position, Shulkin will serve as Sanford Health’s top administrator in the innovation space, leading initiatives to advance work in research, Imagenetics, the Sanford Chip, and the Profile and World Clinic; and as a strategic advisor on its national growth strategy and overall public policy efforts. “After completing my work in the public sector, Sanford Health was an obvious choice to continue my health care career,” said Shulkin in a statement. “Sanford’s unique brand of innovation and clinical integration is bringing precision medicine to the bedside, which is rapidly improving patient care in unprecedented ways. I look forward to joining the Sanford team and bringing my background and skills to help drive these advancements in medical practice.” Shulkin will also be a director on the Sanford International Board, serve as an ambassador for Sanford Health on many of the system’s domestic and international projects, and work with others in academia and the health care industry, providing strategic direction and advice on national health care issues. “Secretary Shulkin is one of the most talented health care leaders in the country, and he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Sanford Health,” said Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford Health, in a statement. “His unique perspective, clinical expertise and powerful voice will further Sanford Health’s continued development and diversification, which is so critical to our ability to bring new treatments and cures to the patients we serve.”
BLOOMFIELD, Conn. – Cigna is committing $250 million to the newly launched Cigna Ventures, a corporate venture fund focused on transformative and innovative health care companies.
“Cigna’s commitment to improving the health, well-being and sense of security of the people we serve is at the front and center of everything we do,” said Tom Richards, senior vice president and global lead, strategy and business development at Cigna, in a statement. “The venture fund will enable us to drive innovation beyond our existing core business operations, and incubate new ideas, opportunities and relationships that have the potential for long-term business growth and to help our customers.”
Cigna Ventures will focus on investing in startups and growth-stage companies in three strategic areas: insights and analytics; digital health and retail; and care delivery/management.
Richards said Cigna Ventures was created to help Cigna identify, assess and sponsor early-stage innovation ideas that warrant deeper exploration through focused pilot and test-and-learn activities with the goal of realizing meaningful business value.
The fund builds on Cigna’s existing venture activity, including collaboration with five venture capital partners and an equal number of existing direct investments, including Omada Health, Prognos, Contessa Health, MDLIVE and Cricket Health.
“Our partnership with Cigna has been about so much more than capital,” said Sean Duffy, co-founder and CEO of Omada, in a statement. “The ability to collaborate with, learn from, and integrate deeply with a health services company so dedicated to delivering a 21st-century care experience to its customers and clients has enabled us to accelerate innovation, advance our capabilities, and grow our customer base.”
BOISE, Idaho – St. Luke’s Health System has launched a virtual care center that will serve as a suite of telehealth programs consolidated into one building.
“Merging technology and care delivery is the way we have to operate in order to be successful in population health,” said Krista Stadler, senior director of telehealth services for St. Luke’s Health System, in a statement. “Hiring an army of 20,000 people to deliver quality care services is not realistic. With the growing Idaho population and consumer demand for convenient care, we had to explore how we can use technology to achieve our goals and meet the needs of our patients.”
When St. Luke’s began offering telehealth services several years ago, the focus was an electronic intensive care unit that decreased the number of days people spent in the intensive care unit and improved overall patient outcomes. Today,the new virtual care center represents St. Luke’s ongoing commitment to giving patients access to quality care without barriers, including geographic and physical barriers.
“In addition to removing barriers, virtual care also helps St. Luke’s more effectively reach specific patient populations, such as people with chronic illnesses,” said Stadler.
A high-tech hub features a centralized medical team that includes physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and IT professionals. When fully operational, 350 team members will work to ensure the center provides continuous care, and telehealth services are available for patients at clinics, hospitals and homes throughout Idaho and Eastern Oregon.
There will be more than 60 virtual care stations with the ability to operate continually using two-way audio and video.
The services that will be supported include: at-home telehealth, inpatient telehealth and clinic telehealth consultation.
“This space will allow us to grow our services and capacity throughout the organization to ensure patients have access to the right care at the right time, regardless of geographic location,” Stadler said. “The virtual care center will serve as the epicenter of discovery and innovation as we act on this belief.”
CHICAGO – The American Hospital Association has launched a Center for Health Innovation that will focus on providing market intelligence, partnerships inside and outside of health care, leadership development opportunities and more. “This is a pivotal moment for the field, as hospitals and health care systems face unprecedented challenges and opportunities,” said Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, in a statement. “Hospitals and health systems across the country have been incubators of innovation. The center will help us disseminate what is working, as well as test new ideas to improve outcomes and increase value and affordability.” Initial offerings from the Center for Innovation will include: regular updates and intelligence on the forces shaping health care and how they will impact hospitals and health systems; The AHA Innovation Challenge, which will bring together creative thinkers, catalyze ideas and explore new ways to spread innovation at-scale; access to expert cybersecurity resources; and Innovation 90 Boot Camp, acoaching program that helps health care leaders learn the latest innovation frameworks being used in industries from technology to manufacturing.