The growing intersection between health care and information technology is disrupting and revolutionizing the traditional ways of providing health care. Health tech applies systems and information to achieve one or more of the triple-aim objectives of health care: reduced costs, improved patient experience and better health outcomes. Investors poured nearly $10 billion into digital health companies in 2017. This is also a global trend, with venture capital and private equity funding for digital health growing around the world.
JobsOhio has identified health tech as one of Ohio’s most important cross sector strategies, as it has the potential to attract significant investments and create lucrative jobs. Many well-known health tech companies, such as CoverMyMeds, IBM/Explorys, GenomOncology and DocHalo, already call Ohio home.
Health tech uses technology, including databases, mobile devices, applications and wearables, to solve health problems, speed up the development and commercialization of health care products and improve clinical outcomes. Recent health tech innovations have enhanced everything from diagnostic capabilities and medical devices to drug delivery, medical imaging and surgical techniques, including:
- Wearable patches can detect sleep apnea in adults and monitor babies’ temperature
- At-home devices keep track of a patient’s health and transmit reports directly to a care provider
- New interoperable systems enable patient information to be shared safely across care settings
Many of these amazing breakthroughs are taking place in Ohio, which is home to a thriving healthcare industry that includes world-renowned health care providers, early stage companies, nationally ranked medical programs and some of the most impressive R&D in the country.
Plug and Play, the world’s largest accelerator program, validated Ohio’s position as a health tech leader when it partnered with the Cleveland Clinic and JumpStart Inc. to launch its new health tech accelerator in Cleveland. It is Plug and Play’s first U.S.-based accelerator focused on biotech and digital health innovation.
Beginning in spring 2018, the health tech accelerator will operate two cohort programs per year, each featuring 10 companies, for three years. Hundreds of global startups are expected to vie for one of the 60 slots. The accelerator will help the region become a national center for innovation in biotechnology and medicine, and it will bring entrepreneurial firms, large corporate players and more knowledge-sector jobs to the region.
Plug and Play’s decision to start a health tech accelerator in Cleveland added to the momentum that already exists in Ohio. JobsOhio will continue its efforts to grow Ohio’s healthcare industry by leveraging opportunities such as Plug and Play to attract investments that create jobs, foster innovation and nurture collaboration.
This article originally appeared in the JobsOhio 2017 Annual Report and 2018 Strategic Plan.