New York partnership aimed at health IT innovation, job creation

Officials at the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) and the Partnership for New York City Fund (Partnership Fund) today announced the creation of the New York Digital Health Accelerator (NYDHA), a program aimed at spurring health IT innovation and job creation across the Empire State.

Officials bill the partnership as the largest-funded health IT accelerator program in the United States and one of the first to provide access to senior-level healthcare providers. With its initial investment of $4.2 million, NYDHA officials anticipate the program will create some 1,500 jobs over a five year period.

Moreover, many anticipate the companies will attract upwards of $150 million to $200 million in investment from the venture capital community post-program.

[See also: New York initiative aims to create hub for health IT jobs.]

Eight early-and growth-stage companies have already been selected and are developing cutting-edge technology products in care coordination, patient engagement, analytics and message alerts for healthcare providers.

The program received 250 applications from companies across 27 states and 10 countries. Each chosen company is awarded up to $300,000 along with mentoring from senior-level executives at hospitals and other providers in New York for nine months. Each company has committed to opening an office in New York State.

"The Accelerator provides much-needed, valuable tools for providers in support of New York State's Medicaid Redesign initiative," New York State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, MD, said. "The initiative, which promotes a shift from the costly fee-for-service model to a more effective and efficient managed care approach, is resulting in better care – at lower cost – for patients across the continuum of care. The Accelerator is an essential first step to stimulate the market and nurture innovation within the entrepreneurial community."

Tech companies accepted into the program are receiving direct mentorship and feedback from senior-level executives with the participating providers. Officials say their coaching, testing and feedback will help these companies create the most efficient tools that the medical community will want to use to streamline the sharing of electronic medical records and improve coordination of care.

[See also: Paul Ryan's Congressional health IT timeline.]

Officials say the companies also have direct 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).

"We are creating the next generation of healthcare applications that will transform the healthcare delivery system," said NYeC Executive Director David Whitlinger. "These companies are the first software development vendors to have direct access to the SHIN-NY, a secure platform that embodies all of the federal and state policies for usage of patient data by the community."