St. Elizabeth Healthcare launches Center for Innovation to strengthen the healthcare industry for its patients.
St. Elizabeth recently announced the new Innovation Center “to drive internal innovation and propel the system to build, invest in, and/or partner with organizations transforming the healthcare industry,” according to a press release from St. Elizabeth.
The center will use a venture capital fund to invest in emerging healthcare companies “that are focused on improving the lives of patients through faster and more accurate diagnoses, cutting-edge treatment options and increased cost-effectiveness of care”.
Returns generated by the fund will be reinvested to bring more technological advancements to the St. Elizabeth sites. St. Elizabeth’s board has approved $25 million in seed capital for the fund, and a future donation of another $5 million will come from the estate of Manish Bhandari, a “leading medical oncologist.” according to St. Elizabeth.
St. Elizabeth Healthcare said the Innovation Center’s goal is to improve patient care with new treatments and clinical trials; invest in new businesses and technologies; influence developing technology to better serve patients; and ultimately reduce the cost of care while improving the level of patient care.
Through its venture capital fund, the Innovation Center has already invested $5 million in Foldax, a company that has developed a first synthetic heart valve in humans.
Compared to current heart valves, the synthetic version lasts a lifetime and costs thousands less than its counterparts.
The Innovation Center is also helping a startup, Epitel, deliver patient-friendly patches to help with seizure detection and monitoring in emergency rooms, intensive care units and patient homes.
“As a practicing oncologist and inventor, I have seen the impact over the past decade that new technologies such as immunotherapy, cell therapy, medical devices and informatics have had in improving lives. and the health of my patients, my family and society as a whole, It is important to fund and bring such medical innovation to our community,” Bhandari said. “There is an incredible amount of innovation happening every day and I feel privileged to be a small part of bringing these high-tech solutions to life and bringing them to the benefit of our patients.”
Sarah Giolando, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at St. Elizabeth, said the hospital system is “laser-focused” on ways to improve patient outcomes.
“The Innovation Center opens the door to incredible opportunities that allow us to do just that,” said Giolando. “This investment in innovation further positions St. Elizabeth as a hybrid academic and community hospital: we can be nimble to respond to game-changing health technology opportunities, ultimately leading to more lives saved.