Partners HealthCare launches $30M AI, digital tech investment fund

Boston-based Partners HealthCare has created an Artificial Intelligence and Digital Translation Fund with an initial outlay of $30 million to be invested the next five years.

The fund will be used to support ventures that develop new technologies based on inventions originating from Partners researchers and investigators, as well as vendors who will work with the health system’s organizations to develop digital solutions.

Specifically, the Artificial Intelligence and Digital Translation Fund will invest in companies that are active vendors with Partner HealthCare, creating opportunities for a “real-time lab” approach.

“Digital solutions from more than 4,000 new company entrants into the marketplace require active testing, adaptation and rollout across actual clinical environments before widespread use,” according to the announcement. “Such specialized co-development relies on health systems such as Partners HealthCare.”

The new fund is meant to “perfect these products and define how to integrate applications into clinical workflows and create reference models for other health systems.”

Ultimately, Partners HealthCare contends that the goal is to accelerate the adoption of digital solutions for patients and health systems.

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The Artificial Intelligence and Digital Translation Fund joins the Partners Innovation Fund, which was formed in 2008 to advance new science and technology based on Partners’ intellectual and financial capital. From an initial investment of $35 million, the fund has grown to $171 million including 37 portfolio companies and spinoffs.

In addition to AIDIF, a separate investment fund has been created—as part of PIF—to address critical needs for translational funding in pre-clinical life sciences.

The new Translational Innovation Fund will provide resources to advance promising therapeutics through pre-clinical translation, focusing on discoveries from Partners' hospitals.

“Life sciences face a persistent gap between basic research or drug discovery and clinical proof-of-concept,” according to Partners HealthCare. “It’s estimated that for every 5,000 to 10,000 compounds that enter the drug discovery pipeline, only 250 will progress to pre-clinical development. TIF will provide the resources to advance promising therapeutics through preclinical translation, focusing on discoveries from the Partners hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.”

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