Innovation Entrepreneurs Get a Boost

Efforts are accelerating to spur funding and rapid development of innovations to drive health care transformation, and budding entrepreneurs are some of the primary beneficiaries.

For example, West Virginia University, the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville have teamed with disruptor XLerateHealth and 20 other universities to help early-stage health care companies build out their commercialization strategies. A report on the consortium notes that it will launch an accelerator hub, thanks to a $3.5 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

Rich Giersch, principal investigator and director of WVU’s Health Sciences Innovations Center, told HealthLeaders that the grant will help entrepreneurs in parts of the country where they typically have limited access to resources, training and exposure to funding sources — especially areas not thought of as technology hotbeds. The hub will speed the development of biomedical technologies, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, health information technology and electronics products as they move from the lab into the marketplace.

Meanwhile, last week eight new technology companies had completed the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator program, which helps entrepreneurs bring innovative products to market. Each graduate of the program will receive $120,000 as well as access to Cedars-Sinai’s clinical expertise and information infrastructure.

Health Data Management notes that some of the graduates have already secured commercial contracts and pilot programs to advance their solutions. The entrepreneurs offer such products as a voice-enabled interactive platform that enables patients with chronic heart disease to track symptoms and receive guidance, education and an asset-tracking solution that uses Bluetooth technology to help monitor the real-time location of medical equipment.

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