By Clinical Informatics News Staff
September 19, 2013 | DreamIt Ventures is launching DreamIt Health Baltimore, a partnership with The Johns Hopkins University and BioHealth Innovation to recruit, invest in, and speed the growth and success of a select group of early-stage health IT companies.
"The key to making health care more accessible is innovation, and the most fertile focus for health care innovation is in acquiring, storing, analyzing and sharing information," said Ronald J. Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins in a statement. "This accelerator project will have important implications for the future use of information as we use technology to find solutions for the most pressing health problems of our day. Just as important, it sets up Baltimore to become even more central to the health care information revolution through the rapid validation of solutions."
The program comes on the heels of a successful health IT program in Philadelphia, and also built on strong industry partnerships that give participants access and advantages typically out-of-reach to startups.
Companies will be recruited and selected from around the world and reside in Baltimore for the four-month duration of the program. In addition to receiving an injection of capital and donated professional services, they will be paired and work closely with exited entrepreneurs-turned-mentors; benefit from an intense startup and health care curriculum taught by accomplished practitioners; meet with subject matter experts and investors; and, enjoy privileged access to executives, information systems and data from leading industry players including providers, payers and biotech/ pharmaceutical companies. Participants also benefit from a vast alumni network of 127 companies DreamIt Ventures has helped grow since 2008.
The Baltimore program is expected to take advantage of the many strengths of the region, giving participating startups both the opportunity to work closely with Johns Hopkins Medicine for potential pilots, and also access to key individuals throughout the region's wealth of federal health care institutions including the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
"Creating the first health IT accelerator in Maryland is a vital step towards enhancing the innovation ecosystem in the region," said Richard Bendis, CEO of BioHealth Innovation in a statement. "This program established by DreamIt, Johns Hopkins and BHI—in partnership with the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore—will help make Central Maryland more attractive and competitive to emerging and existing health IT companies and to the entrepreneurs who lead them."