A new healthcare innovation laboratory has opened its doors and is offering a 12-week certification program for start-up companies that already are working on projects to improve healthcare products but need help refining them and getting them ready for the market.

Target audiences for new innovations include provider organizations, health insurers and vendors.

Developed by Aspire Ventures, Capital Blue Cross, Clio Health and Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, the Smart Health Innovation Lab is receiving assistance from several large companies in the healthcare space.

Lancaster General Health
Lancaster General Health

Essam Adadir, founder and CEO at Aspire Ventures, was instrumental in getting the lab off the ground—he wanted to find ways to get healthcare innovations on a path to market adoption quicker than the industry generally moves, explains Kim Ireland, CEO at the Smart Health Innovation Lab.

Electronic health records vendor athenahealth will act as the primary clinical platform in the lab, enabling the companies to plug into athenahealth’s application programming interfaces as part of the integration requirements to be certified. Other involved healthcare companies include:

  • CVS Health, to provide the retail pharmacy experience in the lab’s pharmacy care setting.
  • Connexion Health, which offers an extensive marketplace of health and fitness apps.
  • Guldmann, which provides overhead lifts for patient safety in the lab’s physical therapy gym and inpatient care settings.
  • Midmark, which offers medical equipment such as exam tables and vital signs machines.
  • OneView, which markets patient entertainment and condition-specific educational offerings.
  • Sage Technology Solutions, which has technology to support nurse call systems and RFID badges for staff identification and tracking.
  • Siemens, which makes devics that enable patient control of blinds, lighting and temperature.

Finally, several local companies bring system integration, security infrastructure, audio-video and laundry services to the innovation center.
At the lab, start-ups will collaborate with technology, payer and clinical experts to validate ideas and integrate the technology to clinical workflows. Simulations will be conducted covering such environments as pharmacy, hospital room, physical therapy gym, clinician office and the home to demonstrate how the technologies impact cost, the patient-provider experience and health outcomes.

Participating innovators also will learn from industry experts how to talk to a chief medical information officer or a chief information officer, and hone their pitches and sales skills. They’ll also learn how to survive in the emerging healthcare environment of accountable care and value-based care.

Also See: Emory Healthcare to launch technology innovation hub

At the end of 12 weeks, participants in the program will leave with a blueprint to advance their technologies and a white paper that describes their innovation. Participants will not be creating new products but will work to take an existing product to the next level and integrate innovations into existing workflows, Ireland says.

Ongoing research and collaboration will continue at Smart Health Innovation Lab, which will continue to review inquiries from firms that want to join, and the lab also is looking for international opportunities.

“We’re going to publish success stories to get health systems, payers and vendors to participate and make sure we are aiming at best-of-breed innovations,” Ireland says.

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