Who Should Apply to NY’s Newest Health Accelerator?

We recently had the pleasure to sit down with Executive Director of the New York eHealth Collaborative Dave Whitlinger and President and CEO of the New York City Investment Fund Maria Gotsch to discuss the exciting New York Digital Health Accelerator (NYDHA) program.

The accelerator, which launched this morning, is run by the NYeC in partnership with the NYCIF and the New York State Department of Health. The program will fund 12 early- and growth-stage digital health companies that are developing cutting edge technology products for healthcare providers.

Why the partnership?

The NYeC formed in 2006 to advance health care information technology (HIT) in New York state and to develop the Statewide Health Information Network of New York, or SHIN-NY, a technology platform that is connecting electronic health records across New York state.  Maria notes that the Investment Fund was formed as a “private fund with a civic mission to create jobs in New York City.”  The partnership is logical, as Dave indicates―the fund is committed to company and job growth and the Collaborative “needs the tools to best harness innovative talent and to create new workflows.” To Maria, the timing of the Accelerator is perfect: New York has “one of the most vibrant digital markets” and is increasingly becoming the epicenter for entrepreneurial success.

Who is a good fit for the program?

Applicants and their respective solutions should fall into any combination of four focus areas: care plan management, analytics, alerts and patient engagement.  These categories were developed in partnership with clinical advisors from leading healthcare organizations implementing the state’s new Health Homes initiative. Established companies with existing products will receive preferential consideration. Ideal companies will have products that are nearly ready for statewide and clinical integration.  At a minimum, prospective companies are required to have beta products. As Maria explains, incubated teams will see the “highest rates of success during the accelerator if they are able to work with hospitals and providers who can use their products today.”

What are the benefits of the program?

Maria sees three core components to the accelerator: “First – and most importantly – is access to providers, as each team will be paired with providers who will look at the company, give feedback and bring in user groups to assess functionality. Second, every company is eligible to receive up to $300k in funding.  Third, access to a leadership program provides strategic advice for company growth and sustenance in the New York ecosystem.” Participating providers include all of the big players in the city and state, including New York Presbyterian, NYU, North Shore LIJ and Albany Medical Center.  The Accelerator offers accepted applicants unique access to a network of mentors and providers capable of “spotlighting software development companies to implement solutions in clinical environments and integrate with SHIN-NY,” as Dave explains.

To apply to the Accelerator, visit http://digitalhealthaccelerator.com/apply/. The deadline for applications is Friday, June 1, 2012.