Effort showcases breakthroughs with national, international impact

PHILADELPHIA — Cybersecurity for medical devices, a breast cancer tool saving lives in underdeveloped parts of the world and an effort placing health care workers in disadvantaged communities to improve residents’ health.  

These are a few of the game-changing health care innovations happening in the Philadelphia region and the focus of an effort by the Health Care Innovation Collaborative, an initiative of the CEO Council for Growth, to draw attention to the accomplishments of the region. As part of its effort, the council is releasing a series of case studies to highlight the visionary work happening today. 

The plan includes putting together the premier publication “The New Philadelphia Casebook: Studies in Health Care Innovation.” It will be a compilation of the case studies with the goal of providing inspiration and a resource for health care entrepreneurs and business school classrooms.    

“These case studies provide tangible ideas for other thought leaders in this industry and highlight just a sliver of the amazing work that our Health Care Innovation Collaborative partners are doing in their institutions,” said Claire Marrazzo Greenwood, executive director and vice president of leadership engagement for the CEO Council for Growth.

“This is a new effort, which is exciting, and supports what we at the council know: Philadelphia is becoming the geographic center of choice for health care innovations of all types and sizes.”

In its first installment, the CEO Council for Growth is releasing a case study on MedCrypt, a technology security company specializing in encrypting and securing medical device data. The company received support and investment from Radnor-based Safeguard Scientifics, a growth-capital company. The case study is available here. It details how the need for medical device security came to MedCrypt’s founder after watching an episode of the Showtime series “Homeland” in which terrorists hack into the U.S. vice president’s defibrillator-pacemaker to deliver a lethal surge of electricity.

 “MedCrypt’s work is more critical than ever in today’s connected landscape,” Safeguard’s president and CEO, Stephen Zarrilli, said. “We hope this effort provides a much-deserved focus on Greater Philadelphia and its health care breakthroughs.” 

The individually released case studies, along with “The New Philadelphia Casebook,” will provide greater visibility to all the health care initiatives being undertaken in the Greater Philadelphia region, Greenwood said. She added that she hopes this will foster national recognition that the region has an unparalleled level of interinstitutional cooperation among health care stakeholders in support of innovation. 

 “There is an incredible level of health care innovation taking place in the Greater Philadelphia region,” said Gary Kurtzman, M.D., managing director at Safeguard, “and this effort is a great way to inform the rest of the country — and the world — what our region is capable of doing.” 

Starting in January 2018, the CEO Council for Growth will begin releasing other innovation case studies on a monthly basis. They include:

  • Individualized Management for Patient-Centered Targets (IMPaCT), a University of Pennsylvania program sending health care workers into disadvantaged Philadelphia neighborhoods to improve residents’ health. 
  • Facilitated Health Networks (FHN) framework, an Independence Blue Cross initiative to decrease health care costs without sacrificing quality, access and patient experience. FHN has signed on three key partners: Jefferson Health, Holy Redeemer Health System and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
  • iBreastExam, a handheld breast cancer screening tool spearheaded by Drexel University. The device has been used in India to screen 75,000 women for breast cancer. It has screened women in Myanmar and will be launched in Mexico.
  • Frontier Programs from Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP) provides extra funding and support for CHOP’s most promising enterprises. Seven programs have been funded since 2015, with strides made in the fights against leukemia, inflammatory bowel disease and mitochondrial disease.
  • Thomas Jefferson University is reshaping medical education with an infusion of design thinking. Collaborating across disciplines, students in medicine, design and engineering build skills for finding solutions in the health care landscape of the future. 
  • Care Link, a robust information technology-enabled network of care coordination support services created by Christiana Health Services. It uses IT systems to access all available sources of a person’s health data so that health care professionals can work together to assist a patient.  

 Sound bites from Greg Kurtzman, M.D., managing director at Safeguard Scientifics, and Claire Marrazzo Greenwood, executive director and VP of Leadership Engagement for the CEO Council for Growth, are included below. Downloadable sound bites can be found here.