Health Care is Getting IT-Entrepreneurial

July 30th, 2014 / By Jeremy Zasowski

An interesting FierceHealthIT article just announced that New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) is renting space at a New York City-based technology “accelerator” called Blueprint Health, LLC.  Blueprint Health focuses on helping new companies or IT startups connect with healthcare organizations to aid them in developing products and bringing them to market. According to the article, NYP will run computer systems out of Blueprint’s offices and have an “innovation space.” NYP’s goal is to create closer collaboration between healthcare-IT focused startups and the hospital, ultimately resulting in new technologies being used at NYP.

Blueprint Health describes its company as:

“…the largest network of mentors with healthcare expertise of any accelerator and co-working space. We believe pairing talented entrepreneurs with experienced healthcare entrepreneurs and venture capitalists can provide you with warm introductions and the strategic and tactical advice you need to succeed. With 12,000 square feet in New York we help over 100 healthcare companies per year.”

NYP is ranked 6th on U.S. News and World Report’s Honor Roll of the nation’s top hospitals, which means it is extremely focused on providing excellent care to its patients. Now the organization is looking to be at the leading edge of new healthcare technology development to further enable its ability to improve patient care and business practices.  It’s no surprise that technology and IT are viewed as a way to improve almost anything that we do today, but healthcare organizations taking a leading role in this development process is a very interesting trend.  It’s not just technology and IT that are at play, but also the ability to analyze data, crunch numbers, develop algorithms and manage the oncoming rush of “big data.”

It makes sense that people closest to the actual delivery and management of health care would be ideally positioned to develop new solutions since they understand their own issues and opportunities best. However, healthcare organizations today are often hard-strapped to simply keep up with maintenance and standard upgrades of their existing systems.  In addition, the innovation brought about by new technologies requires a combination of technology, data analytics, and people with the know-how to apply these tools to achieve real value.  We need the same skill sets that are prized in other (usually higher-paying industries) like finance and banking. I hear a frequent comment from healthcare organization leaders: people with the skill sets needed to analyze and drive new solutions from healthcare data are hard to find.

I’m curious about other less high-profile efforts across the country that may be similar to New York Presbyterian. Is your healthcare organization creating new technological solutions to today’s challenges?  And what hurdles and obstacles does your organization face as it moves forward in these efforts?

Jeremy Zasowswki is Marketing Manager for 3M Health Information System’s Emerging Business Team.