Pilot Health Tech NYC: Creating Partnership for Innovation and Development

In the last few years, it’s become clear that New York City is emerging as a power in the tech industry, rivaling Silicon Valley. What’s even clearer is that the health tech startups in “Silicon Alley” are emerging as one of the biggest drivers of economic growth in the City. Spurred by the increasingly favorable changes being made to health policy in the U.S., many entrepreneurs have answered the call to action to solve problems related to health care delivery and access, disease management, and cost reduction.

There are over 16 million people in the U.S employed by the health care sector and over 700,000 of those are employed in New York City. Drilling down into health tech, more than 150 companies based in NYC focus on biotech, medical devices or biomedical information technology and the New York metropolitan area has the highest tech employment in the country. Pilot Health Tech NYC, an initiative launched by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in 2013, is striving to support some of those early-stage health technology companies to pilot their technologies in a real clinical setting and attract funding from investors. The program was launched as a result of a strategic review of the life sciences and health care sectors in NYC, called Eds and Meds NYC 2020, with the goal of addressing the unmet needs of senior stakeholders in health care and life sciences and increasing opportunities for collaboration, funding and human capital development.

It’s no surprise that investment into health technology companies is ever increasing. Nationally Health 2.0 tracked about $2.3B in investments in the digital health sector in 2013 and $747M in the first quarter of 2014 alone. In New York, partnership with prestigious host provider institutions and wins in the competition gave validation to the innovator companies, thereby making them more attractive to investors. For example eCaring, a cloud-based home care management and monitoring system working with Pace University, closed $3.5m in April 2014. One of the advantages of the program is the ability of innovators to collect data about how their product fared in a clinical or health care stakeholder setting and make improvements along the way.

Pilot Health Tech NYC offers a competitive advantage to entrants and winners alike by getting them access to the right organizations that can help them propel and grow their business. This not only helps the innovators to grow, but also allows the health care organizations to embrace new technologies, help New York patients, and to foster economic growth and development in New York City.

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