Spectrum Health plans to invest $100M in IT through new venture fund

Michigan-based Spectrum Health recently created its own venture capital fund to advance its innovation and technology efforts.

Through the newly launched Spectrum Health Ventures, the system plans to invest $100 million in health technology over the next decade, according to an article in the Grand Rapids Business Journal

Roger Jansen, chief strategy officer for Spectrum Health, said the organization plans to coordinate with other health systems to target products, services and technology, “and then co-invest with them to bring products they and we see as viable to the marketplace, so everybody wins.”

Changes in the healthcare industry that push healthcare providers to take on a greater amount of the risk traditionally borne by payers have created a growing market for investment from venture capital firms. Spectrum’s plan follows a more recent trend by which health systems create their own funds rather than soliciting them from outside investors, an approach taken by forward-looking entities such as the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Jansen reported that initial response to the fund has been strong, with over 50 deal applications submitted for review. The venture capital arm will initially focus on top-tier areas of innovation, specifically precision medicine, genomics and artificial intelligence. Technologies related to population health that monitor patient health between visits are also on the fund’s radar.

While the Spectrum Health team spoke with other venture funds already established by healthcare systems, Jansen said his people are breaking new ground.

“There’s not really a template for this type of thing," he told the Grand Rapids Business Journal. "We want to do what’s right for Spectrum and the communities we serve and that’s different for every organization."