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Counting the health IT accelerators

Have you noticed all the digital health “accelerators” and “incubators” out there? I count the following, in alphabetical order:

In addition, the USC Center for Body Computing has announced plans for its own incubator/accelerator in Los Angeles, but we continue to await details.

That’s a lot. Is it too many? We have seen plenty of failures in digital health entrepreneurship over the years, in no small part because too many companies don’t understand the unique economics of healthcare, particularly in the U.S. With the possible exception of fitness products, direct-to-consumer simply does not work in healthcare because most of the expenses are paid for by third parties. (I’d argue that wellness and fitness are distinct from traditional healthcare anyway because healthcare really does focus on sick care.)

At least one report from the California HealthCare Foundation backs up my belief that the DTC focus is a recipe for failure, one reason why health accelerators probably have it harder than their counterparts in other industries.

June 4, 2013 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Park: Government relies on private sector to innovate

In case anyone was still thinking the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  was an insidious plot for government to take over healthcare, here’s HHS CTO Todd Park—you know, the co-founder of athenahealth—talking at this week’s South By Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. In this video, Park echoes the sentiments of his former business partner Jonathan Bush from an interview Bush gave me at HIMSS last month in saying that the government’s job isn’t to innovate but rather to lay the foundation for the private sector to innovate.

This is particularly important in the wake of my strong defense of Dr. Donald Berwick and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

March 15, 2011 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.