We have all seen many of the challenges facing the US healthcare system today: rising costs, increasing number of patients with chronic diseases, inconsistent and frustrating patient experiences, complex regulations, etc. Healthcare systems, payers and other entrenched stakeholders want to innovate but are often constrained by bureaucracy, legacy business models, and defensive positions. Atlanta has many unique resources to support Healthcare entrepreneurship, but we historically have not been viewed as a healthcare city. Atlanta has the potential to become the premier destination to start a HealthIT business by creating an innovation ecosystem to solve real healthcare problems, share talent, and launch businesses.
Atlanta’s Unique Assets
There are so many unique assets that Atlanta has to contribute: strong hospital systems (Emory, Piedmont, Grady, etc.), universities with health/tech talent (Georgia Tech, Emory, Georgia State, etc.), HealthIT vendors (Change, Cotiviti, LexisNexis, etc.), technology hubs (Atlanta Tech Village, ATDC, etc.), growing healthcare startups (Qgenda, ShareCare, PatientCo, etc.), and large employers (Home Depot, Coca Cola, Delta, etc.). The opportunity to effectively combine these ingredients is powerful!
Atlanta has moved a lot in the past year to start creating some programs to support Healthcare innovation. Programs like the ATDC Healthcare Technology program, GlobalHealthATL, and others are moving in the right direction. Yet as I speak with many entrepreneurs and industry leaders, we are not there yet. As an example, formerly publicly traded HealthIT company Cotiviti was just sold to Veritas Capital for close to $5B. Hardly any Atlanta leaders outside Healthcare knew about it, and even many within the Atlanta Healthcare community were unaware!
The big vision is to make Atlanta the premier destination to start and grow a HealthIT business. We need to work together to create an ecosystem to connect entrepreneurs and Healthcare leaders. We need to leverage Atlanta’s unique assets around SaaS, HealthIT, and tech development talent to solve meaningful HealthIT industry problems. We need to bring industry leaders with real innovation problems and connect them with entrepreneurs/tech talent to build products/solutions that can become meaningful businesses.
In 2019, we will begin hosting regular meetups for Healthcare entrepreneurs to hear/share stories from other successful entrepreneurs and industry leaders. The goal is to facilitate more of those connections as well as truly dig deeper into Healthcare problems that Atlanta entrepreneurs can help solve. We would love to have you join us - please share this with those who want to be a part of this vision. You can click on the link here for more information and to stay connected.