Northwell Health Launches AI Incubator and Tackles Maternal Health Issues

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New York’s health system has launched Ascertain, an incubator backed by $100 million in seed funding to help innovative start-ups develop and commercialize AI platforms

Northwell Health joined the multiplication of health systems to launch an incubator of innovative start-ups.

New York’s largest healthcare organization partners with startup studio Aegis Ventures to unveil To verify, a “joint venture creation platform” aimed at developing and commercializing promising AI platforms. The new venture includes $100 million in start-up capital.

“Ascertain brings a unique structure, innovative approach, and compelling vision to build breakthrough healthcare AI companies that are poised for success,” Michael DowlingPresident and CEO of Northwell Health, said in a press release released this week at the healthcare system’s first-ever Healthcare AI Innovation Summit. “We are all driven by the idea that everyone deserves access to affordable, high-quality health care. Our goal is clear: to find new, profitable ways to build and accelerate businesses that deliver real and fair solutions.

And they have already started. One of the first projects, in conjunction with the new Northwell Maternal Health Center, will focus on detecting and managing serious complications for pregnant women and babies, including preeclampsia, which disproportionately affects mothers black.

“Existing approaches for detecting preeclampsia often occur too late in pregnancy, once the condition has begun to manifest,” Burt Rochelson, MD, Northwell Health’s chief maternal health officer, said in the press release. “An important enabler for a solution to this challenge is predictive analytics, applying available knowledge of a patient’s story to enable much earlier action with simple, yet life-saving clinical interventions. We believe that the AI ​​solution that Ascertain is currently developing will enable this. »

Northwell Health has joined a number of large healthcare systems taking innovation into their own hands with programs to develop local technology that can be tested internally before being offered to the healthcare industry. Organizations like the Cleveland Clinic, Providence Health, and Penn Medicine have encouraged new ventures for years.

And one of the hottest areas of innovation these days is AI, or machine learning, a topic that got a lot of attention at last month’s HIMSS22 conference and expo in Orlando. In March, Mayo Clinic launched Platform_Accelerate, a 20-week program that enables innovative startups to collaborate with the healthcare system on new projects.

“We help participants take a crucial step in their growth trajectory by providing startups with a disciplined focus on model validation and clinical readiness to show product value, said Eric Harnisch, Vice President of Partner Programs. for Mayo Clinic Platform, in a press release. . “The program is an integral part of our Mayo Clinic Platform mission to enable new knowledge, new solutions and new technologies that improve the lives of patients around the world.

Northwell health officials say Ascertain will launch several companies in its first year that will not only focus on AI and maternal health, but also chronic disease detection and care management.

Eric Wicklund is the technology editor for HealthLeaders.

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