The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia Tech’s state-funded startup incubator, will launch a Healthtech-focused industry vertical program with a gift of a “significant amount” from Blue Cross Blue Shield-owned health IT company NASCO. This will be ATDC’s third industry program following the launch of fintech in 2016 and retail tech in 2017.
ATDC’s Interim General Manager Jane McCracken explains that the program, which will launch formally in July, will include Healthtech-specific workshops, coaching, mentorship and resources.
Out of 180 current portfolio companies in ATDC, about 40 are healthcare-related.
“There are some very specific things in the healthcare industry — things like regulation, whether that’s the FDA or HIPAA-compliance. It’s an industry that has a lot of legacy products and an industry that’s been slow to adopt new things,” says McCracken.
Healthtech can cover anything across the continuum of the healthcare experience, from patient experience, booking or diagnosis and treatment, to provider efficiency, to healthcare cost and payments. It can encompass software, platforms or data analytics and hardware/medical devices.
“NASCO views this partnership with the ATDC and the launch of the Healthtech initiative as critical to our mission to deliver innovative health services and to support the Georgia healthcare and technology communities,” said David Weeks, NASCO’s CTO, in a statement. “Healthcare is a highly interconnected ecosystem, and new technologies are helping us to both reduce customer friction and improve health outcomes. The Healthtech vertical will be a key incubator of new ideas to enable these changes.”
The funding will also be used to support events like Healthtech-related speakers or hackathons. For example, earlier this year ATDC held a retail tech and fintech-focused hackathon in conjunction with those industry programs.
Kirk Barnes, ATDC’s HealthTech catalyst, will head up the program.
“We are extremely excited about the partnership with NASCO. The company embraces innovation and technology to improve the way that healthcare is delivered,” said Barnes.
McCracken expects the program may attract even more Healthtech companies to join ATDC, citing their observations from the current two programs.