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Initiative Created to Spur Health IT Innovation in New York

April 26, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The New York City Investment Fund (NYCIF) has joined the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) and the NYS Department of Health (DOH) to launch the New York Digital Health Accelerator (NYDHA), which attempt to make New York a hub for the emerging digital health technology industry.  The place, digitalhealthaccelerator.com, will be run by NYCIF and NYeC, and will choose 12 early- and growth-stage companies that are developing cutting-edge technology products in care coordination, patient engagement, analytics, and message alerts for healthcare providers.

Those chosen by NYDHA will be awarded up to $300,000 and mentoring from senior-level executives at leading hospitals and other providers in New York. The focus areas of innovation will support the development of products that help the state’s Medicaid Redesign Team and its new “Health Homes” program, an initiative intended to make the state’s treatment of Medicaid patients more coordinated and efficient.  

The NYDHA will receive an initial investment of $4.2 million and reportedly create approximately 1,500 jobs over five years. In addition, it is expected that the companies will attract upwards of $150 million to $200 million in investment from the venture capital community post-program.

“Health information technology is helping us transform our healthcare system to provide high-quality, cost-efficient, and patient-centered care for the 21st century,” New York State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., said in a statement.  “The Digital Health Accelerator program will further advance New York’s national leadership in health IT as it will attract leading-edge companies at the forefront of developing the technology necessary for robust electronic health records and digital care coordination systems.”

The program will offer participants the opportunity to engage directly with a broad network of providers in New York State, including hospitals, long-term care providers, community health centers, and primary care providers. They will receive direct mentorship and feedback from senior-level executives with the participating providers. In addition, companies will have priority access to the technology platform that is connecting electronic health records across New York State, the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY).

An application for this program, and more information, is available at the above website, due June 1, 2012. The investment capital will be provided by a syndicate of investors, including Aetna, Milestone Venture Partners, New Leaf Venture Partners, New York City Investment Fund, Quaker Partners, Safeguard Scientifics, and UnitedHealth Group.

18  healthcare providers have agreed to participate in the program:

•             Albany Medical Center
•             Catholic Health System
•             Community Healthcare Network
•             Continuum Health Partners
•             Ellis Medicine
•             FEGS Health and Human Services System
•             Finger Lakes Community Health
•             Hometown Health Centers
•             Hudson Valley Initiative               
•             Institute for Family Health
•             Maimonides Medical Center
•             NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation
•             New York-Presbyterian Hospital
•             North Shore LIJ Health System
•             NYU Langone Medical Center
•             Stony Brook University Medical Center
•             Visiting Nurse Service of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties
•             Winthrop University Hospital

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