Market Overview

How Michigan is Embracing the Future of Health Tech

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After a record-breaking year of investment in Health IT nationally, Michigan hospitals, investors and state funds are offering Metro-Detroit the opportunity to support local health tech and reap the benefits of this high potential space.

 

At the center of this opportunity is the Henry Ford Innovation Institute (HFII). In recent months Henry Ford Innovation Institute has:

 

-Accepted a $3 million grant from the William Davidson Foundation to establish a digital health incubator

 

-Partnered with Carnegie Mellon University to develop new digital health technologies

 

-Launched the HFII HealthTech Challenge in partnership with Health 2.0, to encourage the global development of new mobile health and digital solutions for costly problem of readmission

 

Couple these recent HFII activities with established funding relationships and the introduction of two new VCs, and metro-Detroit just might be ready to embrace the digital health/Health IT revolution.

 

Several months ago Detroit Innovate, supported by New Economy Initiative (NEI, which has also funded the HFII) launched a fund focused on a number of areas including Health Technology and most recently Draper Triangle Ventures has made its debut in the Detroit market. Draper Triangle Ventures, an established Pittsburgh-based VC, will be opening offices in Ann Arbor and downtown Detroit. The newest Draper Triangle fund, Draper Triangle Ventures III LP will focus investments on early-stage IT companies. While the Draper Triangle focus is not specific to healthcare, Jay Katarincic, managing partner from Pittsburg recently told Crain’s that he is “looking forward to doing investments with Henry Ford” and has an established relationship with Mark Coticchia, chief innovation officer at Henry Ford Health System.

 

The gap in local Health IT investment isn’t exclusive to the VC community. Several weeks ago, TechTown Detroit hosted Health Tech Forum 2014 to showcase the need for additional angel investment in the health tech space. Kristin Aalto, director of innovation at HFHS keynoted the event and representatives from a wide array of angel investment groups were there to collaborate, and discuss this missed opportunity.

 

While metro Detroit still has a ways to go before claiming the title of Health IT hotspot, partnerships between local hospitals, insurers, incubators, angel groups and established VCs may finally represent the opportunity our local Health Tech entrepreneurs have been waiting for.

The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

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