Ascension Ventures, HITRUST & more form data security coalition

A group of healthcare-focused venture capital firms has partnered with HITRUST, a security standards development and accreditation organization, to develop a set of best practices governing digital health startups' data security, TechCrunch reports.

Participants in the advisory council reportedly include Ascension Ventures, the venture arm of St. Louis-based Ascension, as well as healthcare-focused firms 7wire Ventures, Frist Cressey Ventures and Echo Health Ventures, and several other national investment firms.

The best practices developed by the council will ensure that startups' offerings will more readily align with the data privacy ordinances of more established healthcare organizations, accelerating the widespread adoption of those technologies and services.

"It makes [startups] more marketable or more viable," Daniel Nutkis, CEO and founder of HITRUST, told TechCrunch. "Organizations tend to be reluctant to work with startups. … [Our certification] gave venture capital firms a level of comfort, and we saw it as an opportunity."

Editor's note: This article was updated at 5:35 p.m. to clarify the members of the advisory council.

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