Philadelphia aspires to be the Silicon Valley of healthcare innovation

Investors and the local healthcare industry want to make Philadelphia a rival to Silicon Valley in healthcare innovation, according to an article in Free Enterprise.

"Philadelphia is reinventing itself as a place for entrepreneurs," Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross, told the publication. The insurer is one of the founding members of a taskforce called the Health Care Innovation Collaborative launched last May, including Independence Blue Cross, Jefferson Health System and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

The article mentions a number of efforts to boost healthcare innovation in Philly, including:

  • An initiative called StartUp PHL, which provides health startups with seed funding, mentoring and information about doing business in the city
  • Accelerator programs, such as Dreamit Health Philadelphia and University City Science Center's Digital Health Accelerator (DHA) program, which provides health startups with funding and opportunities to network with the area's healthcare stakeholders
  • RT, a company that manages clinical trials for biotech companies and is setting up an innovation lab in nearby Charlestown, Pa., and Philadelphia startup BioBots, which has created 3D printers that can print living cells

Nationally, the health IT sector brought in $4.6 billion in venture capital funding in 2015, according to Mercom Capital Group, a slight decline from the record-breaking totals of 2014.

Also based in Philadelphia, the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation runs its own accelerator program and operates a Social Media and Health Innovation Lab, which analyzes the points at which mobile technology, health and social media meet across disciplines, FierceHealthcare has reported.

To learn more:
- read the article