DENVER, CO – In the recent announcement that the major healthcare organizations Terumo BCT, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and the American Diabetes Association had decided to become tenants of the upcoming digital health hub Catalyst HTI, the 190,000 square foot real estate development was referred to as a new feature of the innovation economy. Neither an incubator, an accelerator, or a co-working space, Catalyst HTI would be an industry integrator.
According to Mike Biselli, the President of Catalyst HTI, health-tech industry integrators will “integrate the healthcare industry at the point of innovation.” CyberMed News recently sat down with Biselli to learn more about industry integrators and the role they will play in accelerating healthcare innovation.
When did you first realize that Catalyst HTI would be a new feature of the innovation economy?
It really hit me in early 2014, after I exited MedPassage and was asked to work with Jake Rishavy and Jeffrey Nathanson to expand the reach of Prime Health. I was thinking about what my next project would be, and realized that I wanted to institutionalize Colorado’s digital health community, to bring it together in a lasting way. “Wait a minute,” I thought, “this is going to be much more than just a co-working space.”
The experience that I had at MedPassage, where I saw this fundamental disconnect between how startups talk, interact, and engage and how the established healthcare companies talk, interact, and engage, influenced my thinking at the time. It led me to believe that if we are truly going to move the needle on healthcare, then we will have to bring together stakeholders from across the industry in one place where they’ll be able to establish a common language that will allow them to find opportunities to innovate together.
While I didn’t realize the sheer size of the project back in 2014, I did know that I wanted to have a range of relevant stakeholders interacting together, including non-profits, government, academia, Fortune 500 companies, and startups. And I knew that something like this had never been done before.
What is an industry integrator?
An industry integrator brings relevant stakeholders from across an industry together at the point of innovation. When it’s completed in early 2018, Catalyst HTI will be a place for new ideas, new technologies, new opportunities, new processes, new thoughts, and even new challenges to those new thoughts. It will bring thought leaders together in one physical location to allow innovation to occur more rapidly – and even symbiotically.
When you think about a small startup being able to work alongside a Fortune 100, there might be some symbiosis created that wasn’t there before because of this big disconnect, this big divide between how startups think and act and how large companies think and act. If we bring them together in one physical space – in an industry integrator – it will foster the creation of symbiotic relationships that weren’t there before because the startups and the large companies weren’t in close proximity.
How will Catalyst HTI integrate the healthcare industry at the point of innovation?
We’re already seeing it happen now. Medical Group Management Association, a more than 90-year-old association with access to over 500,000 physicians, is already interacting with Prime Health and the digital health community. For its part, Prime Health, which will also have its headquarters at Catalyst HTI, is starting to work on collaborative opportunities for the startups that will be tenants of the building.
The same thing is occurring with organizations like 10.10.10 and the American Diabetes Association. We’re seeing these interactions happening before we even open the doors of Catalyst HTI because of the collaborative nature of the project itself. We are already encouraging the different members of Catalyst HTI to collaborate with one another, whether they’re MGMA, the American Diabetes Association, 10.10.10, Prime Health, or the startups in the Colorado digital health ecosystem. And collaborations like this will be a daily occurrence in Catalyst HTI.
How will industry integrators accelerate innovation in healthcare?
I believe that industry integrators like Catalyst HTI will accelerate innovation in healthcare by allowing innovators with new ideas and new technologies to find common ground with established healthcare systems, established insurance providers, and established technology companies. For example, one area that I believe industry integrators will help to further bring into the innovation ecosystem is policy. Organizations responsible for establishing standards in healthcare like the American Diabetes Association will be able to work alongside innovators within industry integrators, helping those innovators integrate standards into the designs of their products before they even reach the market. Most importantly though, industry integrators will compress the time it takes innovations to be adopted by the healthcare system by bringing relevant stakeholders together and fostering a mutual sense of understanding between them.