DENVER, June 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Just in time for 2014 BIO International's Digital Health Forum and Zone, Colorado launched a first-of-its-kind challenge in the West that caters to early-stage digital health and health information technology companies looking to develop new products or services that achieve the triple aim of better population health, lower cost and an improved patient experience.
Led by PrIME Health Collaborative, the Colorado Health Challenge is one of only a few such programs in the U.S, including those at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and Cleveland Clinic, which are designed to address the nation's demands on our healthcare system by providing breakthrough innovations that reduce costs and boost outcomes.
"Emerging digital health startups crave two things above all else: capital and relationships with health care providers and payers for the purpose of creating new solutions to big, expensive problems," said Jake Rishavy, co-founder of the PrIME Health Collaborative. "The Digital Health Challenge provides startups with both of these vital elements."
For Colorado, a challenge focused on innovations in digital health technology just makes sense. The state ranks as the second best state for entrepreneurship and innovative technology start-ups and is home to growing digital health care and bioscience clusters. In fact, Colorado's bioscience cluster employs 15,090 workers in more than 570 companies, and the state's digital health cluster features an additional 50 companies.
Each of the companies that are accepted into the challenge will receive business plan review and assessment and pitch coaching from a group of mentors that include experienced entrepreneurs, health care payers or providers, digital health investors and angel investors.
At the end of the three month course, the companies will present their product to a panel of health care executives and investors. Based on the final presentation, the winners could receive either funding or the opportunity to pilot their prototype at a major health care system or in a patient population of a payer network.
While the challenge is designed to support all Colorado companies, the hub of the campaign activity is centered in the area just south of Denver, which is home to a variety of bioscience and digital health corporate headquarters including TriZetto and AlloSource as well as a number of fast-growing digital health startups, including Recondo Technologies.
"We know that venture investment in digital health both nationally and here in Colorado is on a remarkable upward trajectory and we also know that innovative digital health products can materially improve the broader health care systems," said Mike Fitzgerald, CEO of Denver South Economic Development Partnership. "The Digital Health Challenge will help encourage and accelerate the commercialization of these new products and growth of companies in this industry."
In the past several years, Denver South's 60 bioscience companies have expanded operations, received financing and have pushed the envelope when it comes to innovation in healthcare technology.
Take for instance, AlloSource, of Centennial, Colo., which, in 2013, launched a new allograft, the Allomend Acellular Dermal Matrix, for use in a range of soft-tissue surgical procedures such as ventral hernia repair and post-mastectomy reconstruction. This latest product comes one year after the company opened a new two-story building addition to their campus.
And while big companies are thriving in Denver South, with support from organizations such as PrIME, startups are also continuing to grow and develop. One such example: MDValuate is a mobile, on-demand physician performance intelligence solution that empowers hospital executives to improve margins by maximizing the value of their physician network. The company launched in December 2013 with three full time employees and expects to be funded this fall.
"As a healthcare startup we have found the access to talent, community energy and programs such as the PrIME//Source initiative are plentiful and valuable in Denver South," said Tod Baker, co-founder of MDValuate. "Combine the business opportunities with the unbeatable lifestyle of Colorado and you cannot find a better place to start a company."
The Challenge will accept applications for its three-month course through July 11, with the official pitch taking place on September 18. Interested companies can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
SOURCE Denver South Economic Development Partnership