Ascension partners with tech accelerator

The largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. is working to establish a pipeline of early-stage innovators.
By Bill Siwicki
03:58 PM
Ascension partners with tech accelerator

Ascension, the largest non-profit health system in the U.S., became the latest hospital to partner with an innovation accelerator when it announced a new partnership with Plug and Play Tech Center. 

Ascension COO Jim Beckmann said the future of healthcare lies in offering greater value and in empowering consumers, and the new deal with Plug and Play gives Ascension another tool in its box to achieve that goal.

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“This collaboration gives Ascension new opportunities to support our efforts to lead the transformation of healthcare,” said Jim Beckmann, chief operating officer of Ascension Holdings, part of the health system’s solutions division. “Plug and Play Tech Center offers us a defined, targeted method of spotting innovation in healthcare and wellness early on to solve problems and meet evolving consumer needs where, when and how they prefer.”

Plug and Play Tech Center’s Health and Wellness Technology Accelerator connects organizations, corporations and investors with start-ups in the healthcare and wellness industry around subjects including wellness, longevity and digital health.

Each year, the accelerator provides two 12-week intensive programs for some 40 health-related companies, culled from thousands of applicants, Plug and Play explained. These young companies then are connected with sponsoring organizations like Ascension for coaching, mentoring and testing ideas.

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Chris Young, Ascension’s vice president of innovation, said the participating startups may be early-stage with two or three people or more advanced companies. 

Young said Ascension is looking for innovative solutions and ideas to help the national health system deliver compassionate, personalized care, and that this collaboration offers a new way to connect with the best new ideas as they emerge.

“We know healthcare is a very difficult industry to break into as a start-up,” Young said. “We want to break down those barriers to bring exciting ideas and approaches to those we are privileged to serve.” 

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