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Health / Partnerships

Comcast, IBX launch joint venture to ‘remove the friction’ in healthcare

The two giants have a team posted up at the WeWork at 1900 Market working on the new technology.

Learn how technology can help deliver better care. (Photo by Flickr user Intel Free Press, used under a Creative Commons license)
Full disclosure: Comcast is the title sponsor of Philly Tech Week 2018, which is organized by Technical.ly.

All across the corporate landscape, giants from IBM to Walmart are leaning into the healthcare realm.

Now Comcast, which already serves the healthcare space through its Comcast Business division, is dipping another toe in the healthcare waters through a 50/50 joint venture with the parent company of Independence Blue Cross, Independence Health Group, insurer to 8.5 million people in 24 states.

The companies are looking to create a patient-facing tech and communications platform to increase efficiency in the care delivery process between providers and patients. Though still nameless, the new platform is expected to roll out later this year in an initial pilot with Comcast and IBX’s employees.

“There is no better place than Philadelphia, a global center for health care innovation*, to launch this partnership,” said IHG President and CEO Daniel Hilferty (Editor’s note: *He stayed true to his word). “And we believe that we have found the ideal partner in Comcast, which is a global media and technology leader.”

No financial details from the venture were released, but Brian Lobley, IBX’s president of commercial and consumer markets, said both companies were committed to making sure the venture had the capital “both human and financial” to deliver on its promise. Lobley also declined to say how staff the two companies had allocated to the project, which for now is based out the WeWork on 19th and Market but is expected to have its own headquarters down the line.

Comcast Chief Business Development Officer Sam Schwartz said the company’s experience working with tech could be a catalyst for “disruptive, personalized, and media-rich innovations” in the healthcare space.

“We’re excited about this new partnership and the opportunity to work together using technology to help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of patient communications and education,” said Schwartz.

Lobley said the companies were relying on their expertise in both technology and healthcare to “create something compelling that can remove the friction” for navigating today’s healthcare space.

Companies: Comcast / Independence Blue Cross

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