These Philly healthcare giants want to help build your health IT product - Philly


Nov. 11, 2015 12:25 pm

These Philly healthcare giants want to help build your health IT product

It's the first initiative from the Health Care Innovation Collaborative, a partnership between local giants looking to make Philly a center for healthcare IT.
Independence Blue Cross’ healthcare innovation center at 1700 Market St.

Independence Blue Cross' healthcare innovation center at 1700 Market St.

(Courtesy photo)

If you’re building a product to improve the way the healthcare industry treats chronic disease, Philly’s corporate giants want to hear from you.

The Health Care Innovation Collaborative, a wide-ranging partnership between universities, corporations and venture capitalists who want to see Philly as a health IT hub, announced its call for ideas Wednesday. They’re looking for products that have a little groundwork behind them — you should have a prototype or something of the sort, it shouldn’t just be an idea in your head, said CEO Council for Growth healthcare program director Keith Marmer.

The chosen ideas will get to work with one or more of the eight Health Care Innovation Collaborative partners — like Independence Blue Cross, Comcast and Jefferson University — to develop their product. That could mean access to decision makers at those organizations, to customers, to data and to capital.

It’s all about giving startups “faster, greater, easier access to potential customers or partners,” said Claire Marrazzo Greenwood of the CEO Council for Growth.

Or, as Roseann Rosenthal of Ben Franklin Technology Partners put it during a launch event at Independence Blue Cross this morning: This program aims to help startups with one of their biggest problems, proving that their product works. (Rosenthal also came out against the “Silicon Valley of healthcare innovation” parlance, saying, “I don’t want to be the Silicon Valley of anything,” to which IBX CEO Dan Hilferty, a longtime wielder of the term, said, “From now on, I will never use the term ‘Silicon Valley of healthcare innovation.'”)

This first call for ideas is focused on chronic disease.

Submit by Jan. 15

Chosen ideas will be announced March 16.

There’s no set amount of time the partnerships will last or specific stipulations about equity or investment. That will all happen on a case by case basis, Marmer said.


The question of how to get startups and corporations working together has been a big one in the Philly tech scene. DreamIt Health has done it with their partnerships with Independence Blue Cross and Penn Medicine.

Maybe this partnership will help tackle another major problem for local health IT startups, at least according to one CEO: it’s hard to get big healthcare companies on board for paid pilots.

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