Where 13 health systems are investing their innovation dollars this year

Below is a list of investments that health systems made in digital health startups and internal innovation efforts in 2021.

  1. Ascension Ventures, the healthcare venture arm of St. Louis-based Ascension, closed a $285 million strategic venture capital fund, bringing the firm's total assets to more than $1 billion. The new fund is backed by 13 health system partners and is Ascension Ventures' fifth venture capital fund.

    Ascension' Ventures also invested in Strive Health, a health tech company providing kidney care, during a $140 million series B financing round.

  2. New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health awarded $1.3 million to four innovation projects spearheaded by employees as part of the health system's 2021 Innovation Challenge.

    Automated virtual care and communication platform Conversa increased its series B financing round Jan. 19 to $20 million, up from $12 million last June, led by Northwell Health Ventures. Northwell co-led Conversa's series B financing round alongside Builders VC. University Hospitals' venture arm is also an investor.

  3. Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic led an $8.2 million funding round for TripleBlind, a digital privacy and data sharing platform.

    Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente announced their joint strategic investment in Medically Home Group, a Boston-based tech services company that powers hospital-at-home programs.

  4. Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente Ventures participated in a $65 million funding round for Vesta Healthcare, a digital health and clinical provider group platform.

  5. Providence's digital health spinout DexCare closed a $20 million investment round backed by the Renton, Wash.-based health system's innovation arm and Kaiser Permanente Ventures.

  6. Cleveland Clinic launched a new infectious disease research center through a $500 million innovation collaboration with the city of Cleveland and JobsOhio. Cleveland Clinic will put up $300 million in funds while JobsOhio will invest $200 million.

  7. Ohio State University and Nationwide Children's Hospital, both based in Columbus, joined a new $1 billion innovation district in Columbus focused on virus, pathogens, stem cell therapies and cancer research. Ohio State will invest $650 million, Nationwide Children's Hospital will invest $350 million and JobsOhio will invest $100 million in the project.

  8. Intermountain purchased Classic Air Medical, an air medical transport company, to bolster its telehealth and digital services. The acquisition will allow providers to expand their telehealth offerings while making it easier to transport patients in rural locations to medical facilities that are best equipped to meet their needs.

  9. Miami-based Baptist Health South Florida launched a new healthcare technology innovation fellowship to foster development of new products and interventions in healthcare. It will match a $1 million grant from the Knight Foundation to fund the fellowship.

  10. Little Rock, Ark.-based Baptist Health and Mercy Fort Smith invested $1 million in a healthcare sciences innovation center for students in the Fort Smith, Ark., area.

  11. Baltimore-based LifeBridge Health partnered with Healthworx, the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, to launch a new incubator, dubbed 1501 Health, that will provide startup companies developing healthcare technologies and innovations with up to $100,000 in investment.

  12. Peoria, Ill.-based OSF HealthCare participated in a $43 million funding round for Current Health, a remote care management platform used by various health systems including New York City-based Mount Sinai Health System and Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health.

  13. Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network innovation hub AlphaLab Health welcomed seven companies to the first class at its business accelerator. The companies receive an investment of up to $100,000 in exchange for a convertible note granting up to 2 percent equity in the company.

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