New NYC Accelerator Boosts Health IT Startups

4/27/12Follow @arleneweintraub

The New York eHealth Collaborative announced yesterday that it has created a new incubator, called the New York Digital Health Accelerator. The program, which is now accepting applications for its first class of 12 startups, will be run by the collaborative, in cooperation with the New York City Investment Fund. The impetus for the new accelerator, say its founders in a statement, is to make New York “a hub for the emerging digital health technology industry.”

The first class of startups in the accelerator will consist of 12 companies that are developing products to address care coordination, patient engagement, analytics, and messaging. Each company will get up to $300,000, and will be mentored by executives at New York-based hospitals and other health providers. The accelerator is designed to foster new products that might help the state’s Medicaid Redesign Team and its new “Health Homes” program—an effort to bolster the efficiency of the state’s Medicaid program.

This is the latest in a string of efforts by the New York eHealth Collaborative and the New York City Investment Fund to foster innovation in health-related products and services. For example, the New York City Investment Fund, which is an affiliate of the nonprofit Partnership for New York City, sponsors Bioaccelerate, a program in which scientists compete for $250,000 each in seed money to commercialize their discoveries. Last year, NYC Investment Fund’s CEO Maria Gotsch told Xconomy that Bioaccerate was part of her organization’s plan to boost funding for the non-media industries, which are often neglected by venture capitalists. And New York eHealth Collaborative has undertaken several initiatives in health IT, including a two-day conference last December where 43 companies showcased their healthcare products and services.

The new Digital Health Accelerator  is supported by Aetna, Milestone Venture Partners, New Leaf Venture Partners, Quaker Partners, Safeguard Scientifics, and UnitedHealth Group. Nearly 20 local health providers have agreed to participate, including Albany Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and NYU Langone Medical Center. Startups have until June 1 to apply.

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