On Thursday, MedCity News, in partnership with Minnesota-based Medical Alley, will host the first satellite event of our annual INVEST conference (held in Chicago) in the Twin Cities.
We are focusing on digital health but in Minnesota? Well, the state has been a notable healthcare hub for decades. The state is home to heavyweights like Medtronic (yes, the company sought a tax haven in Dublin, but the executive offices are still based in the Land of 10,000 Lakes), UnitedHealth Group and the Mayo Clinic.
But what many may not be aware of is that back in 2011 Minnesota was home to one of two pilot projects that the Office of National Coordinator was running as part of the Direct Project initiative. Per its website, the Direct Project “develops specifications for a secure, scalable, standards-based way to establish universal health addressing and transport for participants (including providers, laboratories, hospitals, pharmacies, and patients) to send encrypted health information directly to cryptographically validated recipients over the Internet.”
In other words, this public-private partnership is looking to develop web-based tools for transmitting patient data via electronic health information exchange (HIE). And in January 2011, the Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), a Level 1 trauma center in Minneapolis, began sending immunization records to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) using the Direct framework.
HCMC’s perspective on digital health will be reflected at our conference Thursday when Kim Wiese, vice president of Portfolio Management and Growth, will participate on a panel discussing what’s preventing the adoption of digital health. We will also hear from Kyle Rolfing, who is building a new kind data-driven and rich-in-user experience insurance company with Bright Health, also based in Minnesota.
We will also host Pitch Perfect, a startup contest where 10 startups will try to impress investors who will evaluate them in a Shark Tank-like style. After applications came flooding in, reviewers selected the final 10, most of which call MN home, but a few come from Kentucky, Illinois and yes, even Colorado.
FDA’s Pre-cert digital health innovation pilot contained just nine companies and here’s who they are and where they are based.
FDA chose the companies it felt it could learn from the most, said Bakul Patel, associate director for digital health in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, but it’s as if the wide swath of the country was simply ignored.
Celebrating and highlighting digital health innovation everywhere is key so that novel and worthy startups get the attention of investors, both traditional venture capitalists and strategic investors to develop their visions. Ultimately, the goal is to develop products that can help patients everywhere.
We are starting with highlighting digital health innovation in Minnesota. I hope you will join us there.
Photo: eyegelb, Getty Images
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