Boston Children’s Hospital and full-service digital health venture fund Rock Health today announced a strategic partnership to develop digital health tools and devices to improve pediatric care. The announcement was made during Boston Children’s Hospital’s Global Pediatric Innovation Summit + Awards.
As part of the partnership, Rock Health will fund and support promising digital startup companies and Boston Children’s will act as clinical advisor to help startups shape and pilot technologies in the pediatric market. In some cases, Boston Children’s will support or collaborate on projects from both inside and outside the hospital.
As Rock Health’s only pediatric partner, Boston Children’s will also help advance projects in Rock Health’s existing portfolio and identify and foster emerging technologies in the pediatric space. Rock Health has already invested in healthcare/child health-oriented companies including Kurbo Health, Cellscope and Kinsights.
“We want to make health care massively better for every child,” says Rock Health founder and managing director Halle Tecco in an official statement. “With its clinical expertise, its deep investment in digital health, and its passionate clinicians, Boston Children’s is the ideal pediatric partner for us.”
Boston Children’s Focus on Innovation
Through its highly regarded Innovation Acceleration Program and renowned research enterprise, Boston Children’s brings unmatched clinical, education and scientific expertise to the partnership. This expertise encompasses big data/data science, digital devices, clinically validated software development, decision support tools, interoperability standards and platforms (such as SMART/FHIR), social media analysis, genomics, 3D printing and epidemiology/population health tracking.
Boston Children’s is also experienced in launching and working with startup companies. In 2014, for example, the hospital sold its digital epidemiology platform, Epidemico, to Booz Allen Hamilton; helped launch ACT.md, a cloud-based platform for complex care; and saw SpecialNeedsWare launch cloud-based teaching materials for autism developed by the hospital’s Center for Communication Enhancement.
“We’re excited to form this collaboration with the leading digital health early-stage venture capital firm,” says John Brownstein, PhD, Chief Innovation Officer at Boston Children’s in an official statement. “It’s easy for our innovators to get lost in the commercialization process, and most can’t carve out the time to move an idea forward. With this partnership, they will have access to strategic guidance, funding and resources to accelerate project development.”