Changing the Future of Health Care One Idea at a Time
James Park and Eric Friedman had the idea that a small wearable device could transform people’s health.
They thought if a product was fun and engaging it could change the way people move and increase their activity. In 2007, when wireless technology had advanced to the point that they could put sensors in small wearable devices, James and Eric began their journey.
They made the rounds to investors with little more than a circuit board in a wooden box. They raised $400,000 and took 2,000 pre-orders. The company the world now knows as Fitbit finished 2015 with $1.86 billion in revenues and has 16.9 million “paid active users.” In fact, this one idea is helping improve the health of more than 800 of our own Regional One Health employees who compete in a walking challenge and track their steps with some form of wearable fitness tracker.
What if there was a place right here in the Mid-South that encouraged and made this type of innovation possible? We could see major breakthroughs in improving the health of our community and beyond.
With your support, this vision is becoming a reality through the launch of the Regional One Health Center for Innovation. The Center for Innovation is a standalone institution that will build upon and leverage Regional One Health’s already distinctive expertise in trauma, burn, neonatology and high risk pregnancy. It will foster internal and external collaboration that crosses traditional boundaries, and create a culture that enables innovation and technology entrepreneurship to flourish.
Regional One Health’s passion for innovation comes from the top down and is infused throughout our organization; we readily try new ideas, measure their effectiveness and seek constant improvement.
“By launching the Center for Innovation, we’re essentially changing the future of health care one idea at a time,” says Scott Vogel, executive director of the Regional One Health Center for Innovation. “The health care solutions developed here will not only improve the health of the Mid- South community, but could improve the health status of potentially millions of people nationwide, and help reduce the rising cost of care.”
Innovation at work
“Our goal is to create an innovation and conference center where staff, students or external entrepreneurs with a health care idea will want to come,” says Scott, “and collaborate in developing new health care models that will change health care as we know it today.”
The Center for Innovation will seek and foster ideas from the internal experts at Regional One Health that care for our patients, day in and day out. The center will also recruit and support external entrepreneurs and young companies who are focused on improving health care.
“Staff and entrepreneurs will have access to the perfect place to develop, test and evaluate their ideas,” says Scott. “For example, external entrepreneurs can use the Center for Innovation as a laboratory where we can help them refine their products, test and prove them; and may even serve as their first customer. Going through this streamlined vetting process can decrease time to market and greatly enhance the idea’s chance of success.”
The Center for Innovation will also help develop the Mid-South workforce. By providing a gateway for entrepreneurship and innovation to flourish, we’ll attract the best of the best—the most talented physicians and staff from around the world—as the medical district experiences growth over thenext couple of years.
» Your support, large or small, can lead to an industry changing breakthrough. Be a part of innovation by making your online donation here.
Thanks to our generous community of supporters, we’ve been able to begin investing in multiple platforms that enhance clinical intelligence related to our patient populations. The new Center for Innovation aligns this data to better understand our population’s health and how it can be improved.
For example, we’re developing tools that can look at the health data of the overall population, referred to as “Big Data” and drill down to identify how we can make improvements in specific health outcomes, such as asthma or diabetes. These outcomes vary based on education level, environment, geographic areas, etc. This innovation brings new models of care to the table that don’t exist today.
A new way of thinking drives better results
The new Center for Innovation will approach health care problems through the eyes of a patient – not a disease, not a provider and not the institution. Work will range from impacting day-to-day issues to disruptive breakthroughs that improve care—and lower costs of care—by looking for solutions with an innovative and creative approach.
Like Cleveland Clinic, Apple and MIT, our success will come by bringing smart people together, often from very different fields, and creating an environment where new ways of solving problems are nurtured and great ideas are developed.
The center will also expand its capabilities by collaborating with regional caregivers, academics, entrepreneurs and people from the private sector to encourage the sharing of ideas and solutions.
There is great opportunity to build technology-driven tools that not only help manage current care, but will also predict and prevent health care problems. For example, the highest health care expenditures for large and small self- insured companies come from a relatively small group of employees and their families. By zeroing in on how to anticipate this population’s illnesses and reducing the impact, the center will improve the lives of these individuals while reducing the cost of their care.
While Regional One Health’s Center for Innovation will begin on a modest scale, it has unlimited potential. In fact, the thriving innovation center at the Cleveland Clinic was launched with just three people willing to take a chance.
That operation now licenses millions of dollars in technology, launches companies and finds investors – whatever it takes to create a new idea, shepherd it along, and improve the care of patients.
To help establish the Regional One Health Center for Innovation, we’re looking for individuals with a vision to see Memphis as a health care and technology hub for innovation. We invite you to partner with us in this exciting venture. Your support, large or small, can lead to a major breakthrough that could change the health care landscape as we know it.
Help us establish the Regional One Health Center for Innovation by making your online donation today.
To learn more contact Scott Vogel, executive director, Regional One Health Center for Innovation via email or call 901.545.6947.