New York City Launches Health IT Accelerator

Susan Hall
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Key Health Care IT Trends

The good news is that primary focus now seems to be squarely on improving the overall quality of health care and the reduction of human errors.

A new accelerator program aims to make New York City a hub of innovation in health IT. The New York Digital Health Accelerator will provide funding to startups and mentoring from industry leaders to help keep them on track.


Twelve "early- and growth-stage companies" will be chosen to develop products to improve the quality of care of the state's Medicaid recipients. The state has approximately 975,000 patients with multiple chronic illnesses who are being transitioned from fee-for-service care to a new managed-care model, which will require greater coordination among various care providers. The accelerator program is looking for applications to improve care coordination, patient engagement, analytics and messaging.


Each company will receive $300,000 and work with local hospitals and health care providers to help them comply with policy and compliance requirements in the industry, according to eWEEK.


Applications for the program are due by June 1 and an information meeting on the program will be May 10. The program is backed by the New York City Investment Fund, the New York eHealth Collaborative and the state Department of Health, and 18 health care organizations have agreed to participate. According to a press release with way too many acronyms:

With its initial investment of $4.2 million, the [accelerator] program will 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. The [accelerator program] will stimulate a new marketplace, creating the next generation of healthcare tools while positioning New York as the capitol of the health IT entrepreneurial sector.

The program is set to begin Sept. 10. As points out:

Hospitals and healthcare systems tend to be very cautious about working with external vendors on health IT applications, which can make it a bit of a challenge for companies to get an audience with providers, let alone convincing them to adopt their technology.

I've read quite a few articles recently about initiatives promising to create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs, and I always wonder where those numbers come from. In this case, it would seem that health care providers and startups working together is the most logical way to make what needs to happen actually happen.

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