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Innovation & Job News

A new partnership promotes healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship

Independence Blue Cross (IBX) and Thomas Jefferson University have embarked on a new collaboration "designed to boost innovation in healthcare across the region and help both organizations improve the quality and value of healthcare," said the partners in a statement.

The new Independence Blue Cross – Jefferson Health Innovation Collaboration will be jointly and equally funded up to $2 million by IBX and Jefferson. The program will be run through the Independence Blue Cross Center for Health Care Innovation and Jefferson's Innovation Pillar

According to Jefferson's Donna Gentile O’Donnell, details are still being worked out, but the effort will include an entrepreneur-in-residence program for clinicians and researcher who have promising discoveries that need more dedicated time and proof-of-concept support, including prototyping. 

The entrepreneurs-in-residence will also participate in education curriculum in entrepreneurship and an innovation engagement speaker series.The collaboration also plans to host health hackathons with participants working intensely to "hack" usable solutions to important healthcare issues such as reducing hospital readmissions, designing wearable devices that improve healthcare delivery and other cutting-edge technology applications.

"We anticipate that the entrepreneur-in-residence program will be a pivot point for moving new ideas forward and changing what we do and how we do it in multiple aspects of healthcare," enthused Stephen K. Klasko, president and CEO of Jefferson University and Jefferson Health.

Gentile O’Donnell says that specifics of the selection process are being worked out, but that for year one "we are looking for areas of practice research and clinical applications that may need proof of concept, but [whose hypotheses] point in the direction of improving care, decreasing care risk and decreasing hospital readmission."

Established in February 2014, IBX's Center for Health Care Innovation houses a wide range of initiatives and champions healthcare entrepreneurism in the region. Jefferson's Innovation Pillar is an initiative designed to elevate and encourage innovation as a mission for the university and the health system.

Source: Donna Gentile O’Donnell, TJU and Independence Blue Cross
Writer: Elise Vider
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