Through partnership, Mount Sinai looks to promote internal innovation

By Jonah Comstock
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Mount Sinai- Patient iPads - Home Screen Mount Sinai's patient stay app.

New York-based Mount Sinai Health System is expanding its internal innovation and collaboration group by partnering with Edison Nation Medical, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based "healthcare innovation marketplace".

Mount Sinai Health System already has a technology innovation group: Mount Sinai Innovation Partners (MSIP), which is based at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. But up until now, that program has focused on therapies and life sciences innovations, generated by designated research faculty. Edison, on the other hand, focuses on medical devices and consumer products, and will seek them out among practicing primary care physicians and specialists.

"MSIP is excited to introduce Edison Nation Medical to our institution," Erik Lium, the executive director of MSIP, said in a statement. "It is a great opportunity to engage with additional stakeholders outside of the traditional research environment who contribute to our innovative culture and have a positive impact on the future of healthcare."

Edison Nation Medical connects inventors with medical-related ideas to manufacturing partners that can quickly bring those ideas to scale and to market. As part of the partnership, Edison will shepherd ideas from Mount Sinai physicians and employees through that same pipeline.

"Leading research institutions like Mount Sinai generate a significant volume of high-quality innovation," Robert Grajewski, president of Edison Nation Medical, said in a statement. "At Edison Nation Medical, we have the infrastructure and expertise to handle innovation at scale, and we're thrilled to work with MSIP to help them efficiently translate devices and consumer related healthcare products from concept to marketplace."

There's been an ongoing trend in tech savvy hospitals of bringing in partners to promote, encourage, and manage internal innovation. Boston Children's Hospital has been incubating apps in-house since 2010 in its Fast Track Innovation in Technology award program, and recently supplemented that with its "Innovation Tank" competition sponsored by Philips. And Utah's Intermountain Healthcare recently partnered with Healthbox to create the Intermountain Foundry for incubating internal innovators.

Of course, Mount Sinai hospitals have already made news a number of times over the years for consumer-facing and medical device-related pilots. Mount Sinai Hospital has offered visit-tracking iPads to both those in its geriatric emergency room in 2012 and the general patient population this past July. It also launched a pilot of CoheroHealth's inhaler sensor in October.