WESTBOROUGH – The Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech (MeHI) has selected two additional R&D hubs to join the Digital Health Sandbox Network, which connects Massachusetts-based digital health startups to innovative R&D facilities and allows them the opportunity to apply for funding to test their solutions at one of the Network’s labs. The new additions to the roster of Sandbox locations are Point32Health in Canton, and New England Deaconess Association in Concord.
“MeHI is thrilled to add New England Deaconess and Point32Health to the Sandbox Network and to collaborate with them to strengthen the digital health ecosystem in Massachusetts,” said Keely Benson, MeHI Director. “Both of these organizations bring a unique set of expertise and services to this Network, with Deaconess as an innovation leader in the aging services community, and Point32Health as a clinical innovation champion in the payer industry. Each will provide valuable opportunities for companies looking to test and validate their solutions.”
Details on the two new Sandboxes that are being made available to startups through the program are:
- Point32Health - Canton, Mass. - Point32Health is a leading health and wellbeing organization, delivering an even-better health care experience to everyone in their communities. Building on the quality, nonprofit heritage of their founding organizations, Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, they leverage their experience to help people find their version of healthier living through a broad range of health plans and tools that make navigating health and wellbeing easier. Point32Health is charged with delivering pace-setting innovation that advances health care beyond the expected by creating new ideas that improve health outcomes, increase affordability, and help more people. For innovative startups in the Sandbox Network, Point32Health offers access to valuable data and the ability to conduct pilots of digital health technologies with their plan members. Point32Health will enable digital health companies to engage stakeholders, refine their products, and launch new solutions.
- New England Deaconess Association - Concord, Mass. - Among the longest-running providers of residential and healthcare services for older adults in Massachusetts, part of the mission of New England Deaconess Association is to “search for new opportunities to provide high quality and highly-valued care that exceeds expectations.” As the first senior living provider in the Sandbox Network, Deaconess is uniquely positioned to help digital health companies develop, test, and validate their products. Deaconess can provide access to staff, residents, and family members, as well as their senior living facilities to support innovations in the aging sector.
“At Point32Health, we know that innovation is critical to improving the health and well-being of our members,” said Michael Sherman, MD, MBA, MS, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Point32Health. “We pride ourselves on being one of the most forward-thinking health plans in the nation. We are very excited about this collaboration with MEHI, as it is a testament to our continued efforts to bring transformative solutions to those whom we serve.”
“Deaconess is proud to have successfully managed through the dangerous first few years of the COVID pandemic. We know that empowered older adults and technology will be the cornerstone of our future,” said Christopher Sintros, President and CEO of New England Deaconess Association. “Innovation and change defines the best of Massachusetts and we want to help older adults everywhere by linking new technologies with the field of aging services. We see the Sandbox as a catalyst to make this happen. We had our best 100 years after the flu of 1918, and we look forward to the same success post COVID.”
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts established the Digital Health Sandbox Program in April 2019 to address one of the recommendations to boost digital health innovation across the state. By connecting growing companies to the cutting-edge test centers that exist across Massachusetts, the Sandbox program bolsters the research and development lifecycle, helping enhance product development and improving the time to get digital health tools into the global marketplace. The Program is administered by MeHI and is advised by an Independent Steering Committee made up of leading healthcare technology executives in the state.
“Massachusetts is one of the top regions in the world for healthcare innovation, as shown by the roster of facilities in our Sandbox Network,” said Carolyn Kirk, Executive Director of the MassTech Collaborative, MeHI’s parent agency. “These facilities provide growing digital startups with access to cutting-edge tools, datasets, and health tech experts that in many cases would not be available to an early-stage company. This network, and the 12 leading facilities that are now members, are helping make our digital health ecosystem more competitive, and furthering our global leadership in the healthcare innovation space globally.”
About the Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech
The Massachusetts eHealth Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, is the Commonwealth’s entity for healthcare innovation, technology, and competitiveness, and partners with industry, government, and healthcare organizations to support the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative. MeHI also helps all the Commonwealth’s providers harness the benefits of electronic health records and the Mass HIway, the statewide health information exchange. For more information, please visit https://mehi.masstech.org and follow @MassEHealth. Learn more about the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative at www.massdigitalhealth.org.