Rock Health, Boston Children’s Hospital join to speed pediatric digital health startups

Bridget Duffy MDBoston Children’s Hospital and Rock Health, a venture fund dedicated to digital health, announced a strategic partnership aimed at accelerating pediatric health technologies during the hospital’s 2015 Global Pediatric Innovation Summit + Awards. Bridget Duffy, MD, is chair of Rock Health, chief Medical Officer of Vocera and co-founder of the Experience Innovation Network.

As a physician, entrepreneur, and especially as a parent, I am excited and inspired by a partnership between Rock Health and Boston Children’s Hospital to identify promising companies and cultivate emerging technologies focused on transforming pediatric care. Together, Rock Health and Boston Children’s Hospital will seed bigger ideas, accelerate adoption of new solutions, and massively change the way medicine is delivered to every child.

A global leader in pediatric clinical care, Boston Children’s Hospital will lend its expertise to support Rock Health’s portfolio and help shape the next generation of innovations. While Rock Health already has a proven track record with companies in this space, such as Kurbo Health, Cellscope and Kinsights, this close relationship with Boston Children’s will greatly accelerate the design and evaluation of new solutions, improving the health care experience for children and their caregivers. Because parents are heavily invested in their children’s health and well-being, pediatrics is an area where innovation can really drive compliance, behavior change and better outcomes.

Parents — who make the decisions and payments — are more connected than ever, seeking providers and answers to their health care questions online.

Kinsights, which provides online health records for children wrapped in a community where parents can engage with other families, has found that parents are hyper-engaged. They track and document everything from developmental milestones to allergic reactions. This behavior is not surprising. As parents, we tirelessly look for every possible way to help ease the burden of illness for our children. Designing solutions for and delivering care to children is quite different than adult care.

medical tools instruments Shutterstock Denis DubrovinChildren don’t always understand why a treatment is needed, what to expect at the doctor’s office or when they will be woken up to take a blood sample. So, it is important to have loved ones by their side, for care teams to use technologies or processes that make their health care experience easier and less painful, and for hospitals and health systems to create a compassionate, seamless journey — from first impression to last.

Communication is the key to a better experience, as is the understanding of patient needs and preferences, how children and their parents access the health care system, and how they engage and connect with providers across the continuum. These things are rapidly changing, and health care innovation must keep pace. The post-millennial generation includes parents who are digital natives, who comfortably use technology. Parents — who make the decisions and payments — are more connected than ever, seeking providers and answers to their health care questions online.

Aligning experience with patient safety and cost effectiveness is also critical. Bringing its clinical, research and health care IT expertise to the table, Boston Children’s Hospital was one of the first partners and customers of Rock Health’s portfolio company KitCheck, which is dramatically reducing costs and errors in hospitals by digitizing the medication supply chain.

Boston Children’s Hospital and Rock Health want to make pediatrics massively better. Interested in pursuing our goal? Submit your business plan for consideration.

Watch video highlights of the 2015 Global Pediatric Innovation Summit + Awards.