- A new innovation center at Aurora-based University of Colorado Health (UCHealth) will support health IT innovation to improve clinical decision support, artificial intelligence (AI), and data analytics, as well as advancements in virtual health and wearable technology.
UCHealth’s innovation team will move into the Catalyst Health-Tech Innovation (HTI) building in Denver’s River North District (RiNo). The forthcoming innovation hub is centered on transforming healthcare delivery.
“Artificial intelligence, big data, decision support, virtual health and wearables are rapidly disrupting health care as we know it,” said UCHealth Chief Innovation Officer Richard Zane. “We are committed to being at the forefront of this change and partnering with other innovators to improve the quality, experience and safety of health care while helping control costs.”
The innovation hub will allow more than 70 health IT innovators and organizations to collaborate for new developments. UCHealth IT experts and members of the UCHealth creative team will also utilize the innovation center to work toward improving health outcomes through new technologies.
“Health-tech innovation has the potential to significantly improve medical outcomes, and health care is not going to be re-imagined just through established health care organizations or startups – we have to do it together,” said Catalyst HTI co-founder Mike Biselli.
“Our industry integrator concept allows UCHealth to be plugged in at the point of innovation by physically housing a health care innovation ecosystem in a single location – allowing entrepreneurs, technologists and clinicians to collaborate through the entire process of innovation,” he continued.
UCHealth will also build an innovation lab designed to be the “hospital room of the future.” Innovators will use the lab to test health IT and devices intended to usher in a new kind of clinical setting.
The hospital of the future could be in a patient’s own home, according to UCHealth CIO Steve Hess.
UCHealth developers will leverage EHR technology, virtual health, and wearables to transform a patient’s bedroom into a convenient, comforting care delivery setting that may also lower costs for patients.
“We are now in the dawn of a new era of medicine, one in which the electronic medical record and artificial intelligence work hand in hand with medical providers to support and inform clinical decisions,” said Hess. “By working together with some of the brightest minds from other health care companies, we will accelerate innovation and develop novel ways of healing patients and keeping the public healthy.”
UCHealth has already partnered with over a dozen health IT innovators to develop products that improve clinical efficiency, boost medication prescribing accuracy, and enable EHR optimization through research and best practices.
“The most exciting part of innovation and the Catalyst location is that we can only anticipate what’s next,” said UCHealth CARE Innovation Center founder and executive director Jennifer Wiler, MD. “We don’t know yet what ideas and innovations will be inspired and developed here – and we can’t wait to expand the work we’ve already started.”
Federal entities including HHS have recently shown support for this kind of investment and collaboration in health IT innovation. Last week, HHS released an RFI soliciting feedback from stakeholders about ways to develop a public-private workgroup centered on promoting health IT innovation and investment across the industry.
Collaboration can help to overcome existing barriers to innovation, while investments in diverse companies and areas of development promote competition that may accelerate advancements.
“We are at the confluence of an exciting time both in the City of Denver and in health care innovation, and it is incredibly gratifying to be bringing the Catalyst concept to fruition, with UCHealth's involvement, to support the vision of Colorado as one of the nation’s premier health technology innovation hubs,” said Koelbel and Company President Buz Koelbel.