With a focus on the artificial intelligence space, Northwell Health, a New York-based health system, is teaming up with startup studio Aegis Ventures on a new joint enterprise called JV. The venture is focused on the use of AI to address quality, equity and cost problems in healthcare.
As part of the agreement, Aegis Ventures is pledging $100 million in seed-stage funding into the venture which seeks to combine Northwell’s clinical experience and Aegis’ business savvy. JV plans to work with clinical teams at Northwell throughout the development and implementation process of the AI tools.
Specifically, teams will work on using AI to help predict, diagnose and manage health conditions, as well as build tools to pinpoint and eliminate operational inefficiencies.
The companies have already kicked off research on material health and chronic disease predictions.
WHY IT MATTERS
Over the last decade, the medical community has turned to artificial intelligence as a way to help assist in everything from clinical-decision-support tools to billing. According to a Grand View Research report, the market size of AI in healthcare was $6.7 billion in 2020. That number is expected to grow in upcoming years, according to the report.
“New York was at the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis, and today’s announcement places it at the epicenter of innovation that will tackle healthcare’s most pressing problems,” Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health, said in a statement.
“This joint venture will leverage data from Northwell’s patient population, one of the most diverse in the world, along with Northwell’s intellectual capital in AI technology. Working together, Northwell and Aegis will create companies that bring higher quality, lower cost healthcare to those who need it most.”
THE LARGER TREND
This isn’t Northwell’s first foray into digital health. During the pandemic, the health system used tablets to help patients communicate with loved ones while in isolation, and put Amazon Echo devices next to the bedside for patients to communicate with care teams.
Before the pandemic, the health system launched an interactive chatbot based on Conversa Health’s platform, which can send texts and reminders to patients about their upcoming colonoscopy appointment.
Northwell has also been pouring investments into digital health through its venture arm, Northwell Ventures, which infused cash into companies like Conversa Health and Talkspace.