Catholic Health to Serve As Mentor for The Advancement of Health Information Technology

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April 26, 2012

Catholic Health continues to shape the future of health information technology (HIT) and will help create opportunities for emerging technology firms in New York State.

Selected to participate as one of only 18 “Mentors” in New York’s Digital Health Accelerator (NYDHA) program, Catholic Health leaders, physicians and other clinicians will provide insight and guidance to cutting-edge technology firms who are partnering with venture capital firms on Wall Street to deliver better technology, faster.

"Transforming healthcare in our community is going to depend on our ability to effectively leverage innovative technology and this program will allow us to both lend real-world experience to those building the tools we will need; and to encourage high-tech investment in our community," said Joe McDonald, President & CEO, Catholic Health.

New York State: Hub for Emerging Digital Health Technology

The New York City Investment Fund (NYCIF) joined the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) and the NYS Department of Health (DOH) earlier today to launch the New York Digital Health Accelerator (NYDHA), in New York City. The program will make New York a hub for the emerging digital health technology industry.

Health Providers to Serve as Mentors to Technology Companies

The NYDHA’s unique feature is that it offers participants the opportunity to engage directly with a broad network of providers in New York State, including hospitals, long-term care providers, community health centers, and primary care providers. Tech companies accepted into the program will receive direct mentorship and feedback from senior-level executives with the participating providers. In addition, companies will have priority access to the technology platform that is connecting electronic health records across New York State, the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY).

The NYDHA is run by NYCIF and NYeC.

In upcoming months, the program will choose 12 early- and growth-stage companies that are developing cutting-edge technology products in care coordination, patient engagement, analytics and message alerts for healthcare providers. Each chosen company will be awarded up to $300,000, along with invaluable mentoring from senior-level executives at leading hospitals and other providers in New York.

The focus areas of innovation will support the development of products that help the state’s Medicaid Redesign Team and its new “Health Homes” program, an initiative intended to make the state’s treatment of Medicaid patients more coordinated and efficient. Catholic Health is also a participant in the NY Health Homes program.

“We are very excited to serve as a mentor in the NY Digital Health Accelerator program,” said Michael Galang, DO, Senior Vice President and CIO, Catholic Health. “Nearly a decade ago, we began a comprehensive technological transformation of our healthcare ministry and perhaps the biggest challenge was the lack of in-depth understanding of healthcare process and delivery on the part of our technology vendors. We feel this program can help bring to market technologies that are better suited to our needs, quickly and efficiently.”

Program Will Create 1,500 Jobs

With its initial investment of $4.2 million, the NYDHA 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 NYDHA 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 investment capital will be provided by a syndicate of investors, including Aetna, Milestone Venture Partners, New Leaf Venture Partners, New York City Investment Fund, Quaker Partners, Safeguard Scientifics, and UnitedHealth Group. The Empire State Development Corporation, Health Research Inc., and NYeC will provide additional funds and/or services to operate the NYDHA.

“Health information technology is helping us transform our healthcare system to provide high-quality, cost-efficient, and patient-centered care for the 21st century,” said New York State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H. “The Digital Health Accelerator program will further advance New York’s national leadership in health IT as it will attract leading-edge companies at the forefront of developing the technology necessary for robust electronic health records and digital care coordination systems.”