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Fostering a revolution in care


Health care, said Katya Hancock, “is very different than other industries.” Given the fragmented, piecemeal way the health system has evolved and the urgent challenges posed by skyrocketing costs, inconsistent care standards and wide gaps in the gathering and sharing of vital patient data, it’s no wonder that the health industry is ripe for innovation and new solutions, she told participants at the Retail Health Summit.

(Click here to download the full Retail Health Summit special report.)

“Every other industry except education has already been disrupted by technology,” said Hancock, director of strategic partnerships at Startup Health. That disruption is critically important as the focus for all health stakeholders — including patients, providers and payers — “is shifting toward prevention and wellness, and engaging people with information about what their decisions mean and the impact of those decisions,” she said. “That’s where the big opportunity is.”

That opportunity has spawned an entrepreneurial explosion as hundreds of start-up innovators work to transform health delivery with new systems and tools for gathering and disseminating actionable health data — and making it actionable for patients, physicians, pharmacists, health plan strategists and other stakeholders.

Startup Health was created in 2011 with the blessing of the Obama administration to bring together investors and innovators, spur investment in new and transformative health solutions, and build a support network for new and innovative health company ventures. Backed by such partners as AARP, Google, GE, Aurora Health Care and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the company defines itself as “a global health innovation community leading the movement to transform health by organizing and investing in healthcare transformers.” This “platform for transforming health care” now includes some 150 digital companies, Hancock said.

“We’re curating the entire ecosystem, tracking everything going on,” she explained.

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