Shorter wait times. Rapid communication between clinicians. Improved operating efficiency. Remote consultations, including second opinions. As health care transforms to accommodate patient needs, New York-Presbyterian seeks to lead the way with a venture capital fund that invests in innovation.
The academic medical center launched NYP Ventures in 2015 to drive digital health care transformation, said executive vice president and chief financial officer Phyllis Lantos, SB ’72, SM ’74, who oversees the fund.
“NYP Ventures is part of the growing trend of health systems launching investment arms that focus on identifying appropriate technology solutions and shaping the evolution of digital health tools,” Lantos said. “Our goal is to enhance the quality and experience of care we deliver to the populations we serve. We seek to be leaders in innovation.”
So far, they’re succeeding: Fast Company recently recognized the hospital as one of the top 10 “most innovative” companies in artificial intelligence and telehealth.
The fund focuses on investing in companies that are developing technology to enhance patient care and improve operational efficiency. Outcomes include shorter emergency room wait times, reduced delays for infusion patients, improved communication among clinicians, and the simplification of cardiac MRI analyses for radiologists.
The fund’s $15 million allocation is mainly targeted towards Series A and B investments in companies using technology to innovate in health care. In 2017, Lantos also helped to establish a New York-Presbyterian Silicon Valley office to build closer relationships with local investors and startups and monitor evolving technology trends.
To date, NYP Ventures has invested $3.5 million in four companies:
- Arterys makes artificial intelligence-based medical imaging software for cardiology and oncology.
- Avizia offers an end-to-end telehealth hardware and software platform that connections clinicians and patients.
- CLARA Analytics uses artificial intelligence to streamline management of workers’ compensation claims.
- LeanTaaS uses predictive analytics to help improve infusion center operations and maximize operating room use.
The fund is part of a larger push by the hospital to identify technological solutions to important challenges, Lantos said. This effort is led by the New York Presbyterian Transformation Center, launched in 2014. The two organizations — Transformation and Ventures — collaborate to identify promising startup companies, deploy their products, and make investments.One example of this collaboration is NYP OnDemand, a digital health suite that allows patients to connect with NewYork-Presbyterian experts online for remote second opinions, urgent care consults, and virtual follow-up appointments. Adults can have a live video visit with a Weill Cornell emergency physician from their phone or tablet and get detailed, written second opinions on their diagnosis or treatment from specialists at Weill Cornell Medicine and ColumbiaDoctors.
As part of a new Express Care program, lower-acuity ER patients at four hospital campuses can opt for a live video visit with board-certified emergency medicine physicians from a private location within the hospital. And through an inter-hospital consult program, providers across hospital sites collaborate on cases around specialized needs such as psychiatry and stroke neurology, improving outcomes and reducing wait times for patients at both the academic hospitals and community facilities. Both programs use the telehealth platform offered by Avizia.
It’s part of a push to deliver the best care in new ways, Lantos said.
“Telemedicine will change access dramatically,” she said. “This represents a more patient-focused approach to health care. It’s about giving patients access to care when they need it, where they need it, in the right setting. These are exciting times.”