Northwell and startup studio Aegis create AI investment venture

The nonprofit integrated healthcare system announced Wednesday that Northwell Health is forming a joint venture with a startup studio to help AI startups get started.

New York-based provider New Hyde Park is partnered with Aegis Ventures, an investment group that builds and launches startups that plans to invest at least $ 100 million in seed funding for joint venture companies. Northwell Health, which also plans to invest in portfolio companies, did not disclose its financial commitments to the partnership. Other venture capital firms will be able to participate in these startup investments.

Together, Northwell Health and Aegis Ventures will design, launch and scale artificial intelligence startups that address quality, equity and value in the healthcare sector.

“We can’t just live in our own world,” said Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health. “With all of the new technological advances and advances in artificial intelligence being pursued by companies outside of healthcare, we need to bring people together so we can learn from each other.”

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Engineers, data scientists and entrepreneurs working in the joint venture will partner with Northwell Health clinicians to create tools to predict, diagnose and treat health conditions ranging from chronic disease and preeclampsia to pregnancy complications. Companies are also looking to stimulate the development of artificial intelligence tools that eliminate operational inefficiencies and work to reduce racial and socioeconomic biases.

Startups will be able to leverage anonymized patient data from Northwell Health, which serves more than 2 million patients, and validate artificial intelligence tools in the healthcare system.

Tom Manning will lead the joint venture. Manning is the former chairman and CEO of Dun & Bradstreet, a data and analytics company.

The healthcare AI market, which includes AI tools for clinical, financial and operational processes, has attracted billions of dollars in investments and acquisitions.

Digital health companies that sell products with machine learning, deep learning, and other types of AI have raised more than $ 6 billion in venture funding in the first nine months of 2021, according to Modern Healthcare. Digital health, business and technology… Digital health companies raised $ 23 billion in the first three quarters of 2021. Microsoft’s $ 19.7 billion purchase of Nuance Communications, a company that sells artificial intelligence-powered clinical documentation tools, was the most expensive acquisition of 2021 to date.

Earlier this year, Northwell Health was among 17 healthcare systems that pledged $ 95 million to start a commercial data processing company Truveta. Northwell Ventures’ healthcare division has also invested in companies such as chatbot startup Conversa Health, which has since been acquired by Amwell. The company also holds a competition annually, during which employees propose new ideas for business. This year, workers made 70 presentations, and winning pair received a $ 500,000 award, Dowling said.

In addition to funding innovations that can improve healthcare, Dowling said investing in startups could provide a new revenue stream for the healthcare system if new companies perform well.

Northwell Health’s strategy aligns with a broader trend of vendors investing in commercial digital health, typically through internal venture capital operations.

Last year, providers were the top corporate investors in digital health companies, followed by biopharmaceutical developers, according to data collected Rock health, an early stage digital health venture fund that also collects research on the sector. Vendors account for 30% of corporate digital health investment transactions.

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