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From right to left: Roseann B. Rosenthal, president and CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA; Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross; Stephen K. Klasko, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health; and Todd Bookman, from WHYY.
From right to left: Roseann B. Rosenthal, president and CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA; Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross; Stephen K. Klasko, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and…

Do you have an idea that would change healthcare? This group wants to hear from you

The Health Care Innovation Collaborative an open call for innovators, amid conversation about the project and the role of the city in the future of healthcare…

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On May, eight of Philadelphia’s health care, technology and investment leaders — Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Comcast, Drexel University, Independence Blue Cross, Safeguards Scientifics Inc., Thomas Jefferson Health and Jefferson Health, and University of Pennsylvania Health System — announced the creation of a new national model for collaboration: The Health Care Innovation Collaborative.

This initiative — which was born of the CEO Council’s Health Care Innovation Task Force — today announced an open call for innovators, amid conversation about the project and the role of the city in the future of healthcare innovation.

Roseann B. Rosenthal, president and CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA; Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross; and Stephen K. Klasko, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health engaged in a dialogue led by Todd Bookman of WHYY.

The main purpose of the collaborative is “ bringing the assets together and making a process very, very efficient. It also supports and encourages collaboration not only within the institutions but across the institutions,” Rosenthal said. “And that’s not something that happens naturally. So this infrastructure is very important. It’s going to have benefits for the participating entities as well as for the entrepreneurs. They are going to learn from each other and we are going to see more products get to the market faster.”

Klasko said that “at Jefferson, we are focused on finding new ways to care for our patients that drive down costs and improve their lives. The Health Care Innovation Collaborative will allow us to work with innovators and entrepreneurs to pilot new ideas that could make a real difference in how we deliver care.”

According to Hilferty, the Health Care Innovation Collaborative is more than a catalyst for healthcare innovation. “It’s not just about all the things we are talking about here. It’s also about creating an infrastructure in neighborhoods and schools… So these innovative free thinkers can come here and not only get a receptive business climate, but want to settle here, want to move into our neighborhoods and race children here because they have confidence in our school system. We need to get to the next step: get people to come and see us and feel us and go to our restaurants and experience the arts here… .”

But, why Philadelphia?

“There really is the infrastructure in place here in the Greater Philadelphia for ecosystem to continue to thrive,” Rosenthal said. “We have a diversity of assets, we have a concentration of assets in healthcare. We have an established ecosystem to support entrepreneurship. I don’t think we realize how deep that is. […] It’s a welcoming place for innovation and entrepreneurs.”

With this unprecedented model of collaboration, Philadelphia aims to become a major center of healthcare innovation, a place for development of innovation in healthcare technology and delivery.

Will this project turn Philly into “the Silicon Valley of healthcare innovation,” like some people have said?

No says Rosenthal: “I don’t want to be the Silicon Valley of anything. I want to be the greater Philadelphia center of healthcare innovation. And I think with the assortment of assets that we have in this region there is no reason why we can do it. And the most important thing is, we will. And what you are seeing among these partners is the willingness to do that.”

You can submit your idea now

The first open call is for innovators who are working, or want to work, in the field of chronic diseases. If you have an idea you can submit it now. The application submission process opens today (Nov. 11) and closes Jan. 15, 2015. The application can be completed online; you will need to follow the online submission guidelines and prepare a brief proposal.

The open call is open to individuals and companies from all over the world. Initial screenings will start Jan. 16 and the application notification will begin on March 16.  For more information visit www.greaterthanhealthcare.com. You can apply here.

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