With the seismic changes in healthcare, those of us who work in this industry can see the many hurdles ahead as we move into the next chapter of healthcare and attempt to improve the health of our populations while reducing the cost of the care we deliver. Needless to say, this is not going to be easy. But the silver lining is that there are a number of potential solutions being envisioned and developed by an ever-growing movement of passionate technology innovators across the globe. The major roadblock, however, isn’t so much coming up with the idea or building a prototype, but it is taking a good idea and developing it into a great solution. When I was working at GE Healthcare, this was the single biggest problem we encountered in product development. How do you prove out that a product or solution you are developing has the intended value and impact? When I arrived at Baystate Health in the summer of 2012, I immediately realized that Baystate Health was the perfect health system in a perfect environment to do just that. Baystate Health could be the vehicle for launching innovations into healthcare.
Baystate is an integrated healthcare delivery network, with four hospitals, over eighty medical groups, an accountable care organization (ACO), and a commercial health plan all within a community that is extremely diverse both socioeconomically and culturally. With all of these terrific characteristics, I developed the idea of creating a healthcare technology innovation center that would be endowed with the digital, environmental, and expert assets from Baystate to facilitate partnerships between Baystate and outside companies or innovators to accelerate, pilot and prove new solutions for healthcare.
I was pleased to find strong support for the idea, not just from the senior leadership at Baystate, but from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The award of a $5.5 million grant from the Deval Patrick administration and Massachusetts Life Sciences Center was a turning point, allowing us to develop the project with confidence. Our shared goal is to accelerate innovation in healthcare informatics and technology for the benefit of the industry and patients across the country. We will do this by making our resources available to co-develop and pilot promising solutions to our most pressing healthcare challenges in order to speed up a solution’s time to market.
As a testament to TechSpring’s importance, several key partners who saw the strength of our idea, came on board early to make it real. IBM, Premier Inc, Medecision, Cerner, Dell and Mainline are all working with us to create an innovation platform, our “informatics sandbox”, and re-invent how technology acceleration is executed in a healthcare environment.
TechSpring is an ambitious project. It will take us time to fully develop its potential. Moreover, it will take additional partners, a community of interested stakeholders, and a diversity of innovators all equally determined to change healthcare through information and technology. We’re providing the space and the access to resources within living healthcare system. It’s up to innovators, healthcare solutions developers, and healthcare professionals with a “vision” to bring their A-game and show us what they can do.
I hope you will contribute to solving healthcare’s largest problems with us at TechSpring. Sign up for our newsletter, come see the space, and talk to us about how we can change the healthcare together.