Many start-ups waiting to be seen by healthcare providers never make it past the waiting room.

PILOT Health Tech NYC is trying to change that. Launched this week by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Administration, the City of New York, and New York City Economic Development Corporation, the platform will match “hosts” (large, established organizations such as hospitals and insurance companies) with “innovators” (start-ups focused on developing technology) to provide more efficient healthcare services.

“We need more developers, more innovators, more entrepreneurs and more hosts to say ‘Hey, we’re willing to try new tech,'" says Jean-Luc Neptune, Senior Vice President of Health 2.0, one of the organizations on the team working to implement the program.

The PILOT Health Tech NYC website already boasts big-name hosts such as New York Presbyterian Hospital and Pace University, and is currently accepting applications for innovators, as well as additional host organizations.

Based on a host’s stated needs, PILOT will generate a list of innovators capable of developing new technology to maximize a particular dimension of the host organization. Representatives of host organizations will meet with innovators at two PILOT “matchmaking” sessions February 20th and 21st.

Neptune stresses that the unique benefit of PILOT is the time-saving aspect for host organizations, which might want to improve services but currently lack the human resources to dedicate employees to innovation exclusively. 

“There are so many enthusiastic innovators,” said Neptune, “but not all of them are going to be great fits for the hosts. If you’re a host, you’re busy. We don’t want you to meet people at random.”

Though New York has typically lagged behind Boston and San Francisco as a home for health tech start-ups, new health care industry initiatives have been on the rise in the Big Apple over the past several years. Neptune says the bump in organizations looking to spur new developments in healthcare is no accident of geography.

“New York has the largest concentration of health care resources, providers, academic medical centers, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies--if you were to stand in Times Square and draw a 50-mile radius, there’s no place in the country with these health care resources,” said Neptune. “A lot of this infrastructure is being underleveraged in relation to innovation.”



Jan 30, 2013