PHILADELPHIA, PA., Feb. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Independence Blue Cross today announced it has created the Independence Blue Cross (IBC) Center for Health Care Innovation, an important milestone in the company’s groundbreaking efforts to transform the Philadelphia area into a national magnet for health care innovation. At the 5,000-square foot center at 1700 Market Street in Philadelphia, the company’s associates and external partners will innovate, collaborate, and implement path-finding new concepts in health care. The center will also be the home for the company’s widening range of innovation initiatives, including its partnership with Penn Medicine and DreamIt Ventures on the region’s first health care accelerator, DreamIt Health Philadelphia, which last year brought ten promising health care startups from across the country to Philadelphia and today eight are still located in the region.
“Through the IBC Center for Health Care Innovation, we are championing health care entrepreneurism in our region, and acting as a catalyst for innovations that lead to superior care at lower costs,” said Independence Blue Cross President and CEO Daniel J. Hilferty. “With our region’s active investment community, experienced health care talent, world class health care systems, and strong academic institutions, we have all the ingredients to become the Silicon Valley of health care innovation.”
The IBC Center for Health Care Innovation will serve as the home for a wide range of new and existing initiatives:
- DreamIt Health Philadelphia 2014. Independence Blue Cross and Penn Medicine partnered with DreamIt Ventures to launch the accelerator DreamIt Health in December 2012. The start-ups participating in the Philadelphia 2013 DreamIt Health class are developing a wide range of innovative health care solutions, including using technology to help prevent hospital readmissions, create a virtual health insurance card, and transform a smartphone into a convenient, low-cost lab for quick DNA diagnostics. DreamIt Health Philadelphia 2014 will start accepting applications in March for a four-month boot camp beginning this summer. DreamIt Health companies will receive seed funding, mentoring, collaborative office space, and opportunities to meet with potential investors and customers.
- Strategic investments. Through a Strategic Innovation Portfolio, one of the Center’s new programs, Independence Blue Cross will invest capital, expertise, and other resources into companies that are focused on bringing innovation to health care through new technologies, products, and services. The Strategic Innovation Portfolio will invest up to $50 million in health related venture funds and early stage companies, including the businesses in the DreamIt 2013 class, and any future classes with DreamIt.
- Regional task force on health care innovation. The center is hosting the first meeting of the Health Care Innovation Task Force, a working group of the CEO Council for Growth, which is part of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. The meeting will be led by Independence Blue Cross President and CEO Hilferty and Chamber President Rob Wonderling, chairman of the CEO Council for Growth. This group of regional health care leaders is meeting today to discuss strategies to leverage the region’s existing strengths to better promote and develop the health care innovation economy. The CEO Council for Growth is a devoted group of regional business, higher education, and civic leaders who commit their time and efforts to enhancing economic growth and prosperity.
- Innovations to improve health. The IBC Center for Innovation will now be the home for initiatives to improve health and health care delivery. Some collaborations are already underway, including research with the New York University (NYU) and the NYU Langone Medical Center to develop machine-learning algorithms to better predict undiagnosed diabetes, and studies with Penn Medicine that include using mobile technology toimprove medication adherence, understand the impact of genomic testing to improve cancer treatment and outcomes, and evaluate care delivery to improve outcomes for stroke patients. IBC and Penn also have a shared data initiative allowing both institutions to explore new ways to improve health care.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve more than 7.5 million people nationwide, including 2.2 million in the region. For more than 75 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we’re changing the game, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook atibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.