10 Arkansas providers recruit startups for 2nd annual digital health accelerator

HealthTech Arkansas, a healthcare accelerator program backed by 10 local hospitals and health systems, opened applications on Feb. 1 for its second cohort of startups developing new digital health software, connected medical devices and diagnostic platforms.

Five companies will be selected to participate in the accelerator in June, and the program will commence in August. Each company is guaranteed a pilot project with at least two of the program's provider partners, along with a $75,000 upfront investment, access to other potential funding sources and more educational and mentoring opportunities.

The providers involved in HealthTech Arkansas are Arkansas Children's Hospital, Arkansas Heart Hospital, Arkansas Urology, Baptist Health, CHI St. Vincent and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, all based in Little Rock, as well as Conway (Ark.) Regional Health System, Chesterfield, Mo.-based Mercy, Jonesboro, Ark.-based St. Bernards Healthcare and Fayetteville, Ark.-based Washington Regional Medical Center.

"The guaranteed opportunity to conduct pilot projects with healthcare providers is what truly sets our program apart from other programs," Jeff Stinson, the program's director, told ABC affiliate KATV. "Provider access for early-stage companies is the most important thing you can do for their success. Through these pilot projects, our cohort companies get a direct connection to hospitals and physicians that give them the opportunity to demonstrate value with their technologies and products."

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