Providers take an interest in mHealth innovation

From the mHealthNews archive
By Eric Wicklund

Tired of waiting for the next big thing in mHealth? Help it along!

That's what officials at Aurora Health Care have decided to do. The Milwaukee-based not-for-profit health system, spanning some 15 hospitals, 159 clinics and 70 pharmacies in Wisconsin and Illinois, has become a lead investor in StartUp Health, the New York-based health innovation incubator.

[See also: Startup takes top honors at HIMSS15 Venture+ Forum ]

"The Aurora and StartUp Health collaboration is significant because together we can quickly identify the next generation of solutions for the people we serve," Nick Turkal, MD, Aurora's chief executive officer, said in a press release. "We're living in an age where every aspect of our lives is being reinvented by technology; the opportunity now is to streamline how the most effective innovations can be applied to improve the health and wellness of our patients. With StartUp Health we can do this more quickly and efficiently."

"At Aurora, our purpose is to help people live well. Our new investment in StartUp Health will help us to continue to fulfill that purpose by delivering the very best patient care in an efficient, cost-effective manner," added Rick Klein, executive vice president of Aurora's enterprise business group.

The provider-incubator connection isn't entirely new – health systems like Boston's Partners HealthCare and Salt Lake City's Intermountain Healthcare have been investing in or fostering innovation for some time. But partnerships like this point to an increased interest among providers to tap into the mHealth pipeline and seek out new tools and platforms that target patient engagement and clinical mobility. And for labs like StartUp Health, the collaboration gives them access to healthcare resources that can help develop and fine-tune the portfolio.

[See also: Why providers should care about consumer mHealth devices]

"We have a synced vision with Aurora - we're in the most exciting time in history in healthcare and together we have the ability to leap forward in our approach to discovering, cultivating and delivering the best health and wellness solutions," Steve Krein, StartUp Health's co-founder and CEO, said in the release.

"This is a meaningful collaboration with Aurora that we believe will not only transform the pace of how innovation makes its way to patients and doctors, but we hope will serve as a roadmap for other leaders throughout the industry," added Unity Stoakes, co-founder and president of StartUp Health. "Virtually every aspect of healthcare is being re-imagined and there's no better way to speed up the cycles of innovation than to collaborate to provide entrepreneurs and innovators with ongoing support, expertise and resources to grow their business. Aurora is the perfect entity to do this with."

Launched in 2011 by Krein, Stoakes and former Time Warner CEO Jerry Levin, StartUp Health now features a portfolio of more than 100 digital health companies and partnerships with the California Healthcare Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Cleveland Clinic, to name a few.



[See also: Digital health funding continues to soar]