The Longevity

Is Minnesota an Up and Coming Digital Health Hub?

October 12, 2017 |

It is nearly time for the annual INVEST conference put on by MedCity News (held in Chicago), and this year, there is a new Minnesotan satellite venue.

On Thursday, MedCity News, in partnership with Minnesota-based Medical Alley, will host the first satellite event of our annual INVEST conference (held in Chicago) in the Twin Cities.

Could we call Minnesota a digital health hub?

Well, the state has [actually] been a notable healthcare hub for decades. The state is home to heavyweights like Medtronic (yes, the company sought a tax haven in Dublin, but the executive offices are still based in the Land of 10,000 Lakes), UnitedHealth Group and the Mayo Clinic.

In fact, in 2011, two pilot projects for the Office of National Coordinator were based in Minnesota.

[The pilots were] part of the Direct Project initiative, [which] “develops specifications for a secure, scalable, standards-based way to establish universal health addressing and transport for participants (including providers, laboratories, hospitals, pharmacies, and patients) to send encrypted health information directly to cryptographically validated recipients over the Internet.”

In other words, this public-private partnership is looking to develop web-based tools for transmitting patient data via electronic health information exchange (HIE). And in January 2011, the Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), a Level 1 trauma center in Minneapolis, began sending immunization records to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) using the Direct framework.

The Twin Cities satellite event will have more than just a broadcast of what’s happening in Chicago.

We will also hear from Kyle Rolfing, who is building a new kind data-driven and rich-in-user experience insurance company with Bright Health, also based in Minnesota.

We will also host Pitch Perfect, a startup contest where 10 startups will try to impress investors who will evaluate them in a Shark Tank-like style. After applications came flooding in, reviewers selected the final 10, most of which call MN home, but a few come from Kentucky, Illinois and yes, even Colorado….

Celebrating and highlighting digital health innovation everywhere is key so that novel and worthy startups get the attention of investors, both traditional venture capitalists and strategic investors to develop their visions. Ultimately, the goal is to develop products that can help patients everywhere.

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