Health Care Innovation Collaborative: Greater Than Chronic Diseases

Written by Kate Hagedorn, Manager, Policy Communications, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

The CEO Council for Growth unveiled the Health Care Innovation Collaborative in May 2015. This group represents a new and unprecedented national model for collaboration among health care providers, academic research institutions and the investor community. The member organizations include Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Christiana Care Health System, Comcast, Drexel University, Independence Blue Cross, Safeguard Scientifics, Inc., Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, and University of Pennsylvania Health System. The Collaborative was born of the CEO Council’s Health Care Innovation Task Force, co-chaired by John Fry, president of Drexel University and Daniel J. Hilferty, president & CEO of Independence Blue Cross.

On November 11, 2015, the Health Care Innovation Collaborative announced an open call for innovators around the world to work with its founding member organizations to tackle problems associated with chronic disease. Those who submitted ideas at, an online portal managed by the CEO Council, are eligible to be selected to work directly with these organizations to accelerate innovation that improves patient care and outcomes.

The Collaborative closed the inaugural open call on January 15, 2016 with a robust number of 115 applications. They show a mix of local and out-of-region interest. Of those who applied to the Collaborative, 74% were from the Greater Philadelphia Region. Applications were also received from 10 states across the U.S. as well as from Canada and Australia. Of the companies that applied from outside the region, 72% expressed interest in relocating to, or opening an office in Greater Philadelphia. This interest demonstrates potential for growth in the city and region.

Looking further at the application data, diversity is seen among the applications. 67% of applicant companies identified themselves as a start-up; for applicants who responded to the question, 32% identified their company as minority-owned; and 45 applicant companies have raised capital in the past year. About one-third of the applications can be described as “telehealth” or mobile health communication solutions, while the next largest category was care management.

Priority will be given to those applicants that represent opportunities to reduce costs tied to health care, potentially benefit patients or health care consumers, and have a positive impact on one or more socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. The applicant notification period begins mid-March.

The CEO Council and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce understand that leading the growth of health care innovation in Greater Philadelphia is not the responsibility of a single company or individual or even nine organizations. Instead, novel solutions for health care technology and delivery are driven by collaboration and through the experience, expertise and interaction with many key leaders from across the life sciences, technology, investment and health care communities. So they have begun convening leaders in this sector through the newly formed Greater Philadelphia Health Care Action Team – a unique, cross-functional group who share the vision that Greater Philadelphia can transform itself into the global leader in health care innovation. To learn more, visit

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