HealthTech Arkansas, Arkansas Heart Hospital, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Washington Regional Medical Center, Arkansas Urology, Mercy, and CHI St. Vincent today announced they are collaborating to extend and expand HealthTech Arkansas, a program that connects early-stage healthcare companies bringing disruptive technologies to the marketplace with Arkansas healthcare providers for the purpose of conducting pilot projects.
HealthTech Arkansas is a new and expanded iteration of two previous accelerator programs, Health InnovatAR and HubX—LifeSciences. This year, with more provider partners and increased investment for participating companies, HealthTech Arkansas is increasingly focused on bringing the most innovative healthcare technologies to Arkansas. HealthTech Arkansas will be directed by Jeff Stinson, who has managed the previous two healthcare accelerators in Arkansas. Stinson is also the executive director of the Fund for Arkansas’ Future, which is the state’s largest angel investment fund.
“The guaranteed opportunity to conduct pilot projects with healthcare providers is what truly sets our program apart from other accelerators,” said Stinson. “Provider access for early stage companies is the most important thing you can do for their success. Through these pilot projects, our cohort companies get a direct connection to hospitals and physicians that give them the opportunity to demonstrate value with their technologies and products.”
The impact on healthcare providers is also beneficial. “UAMS has a mission to educate tomorrow’s healthcare professionals and provide high-quality, innovative care,” said Dr. Richard Turnage, CEO of UAMS Medical Center. “We are excited to continue our partnership with HealthTech Arkansas, giving our patients access to new, innovative technologies, and inspiring our employees to be more innovative every day.”
The Arkansas Economic Development Commission awarded HealthTech Arkansas $250,000 for the healthcare accelerator through a program designed to increase acceleration activities in targeted industries in the state.
“Our culture is built upon embracing new technologies that help us provide better patient care,” said Andrea Nelson, Chief Clinical Officer at Arkansas Heart Hospital. “We’ve found HealthTech Arkansas to be a highly impactful way for us to identify early-stage companies with new healthcare technologies and engage with them in a way that delivers significant value to both our hospital and the companies.”
Applications for the HealthTech Arkansas cohort are now open, and the cohort will be selected by June 30, 2019. The program is seeking companies in three categories: digital health and software, connected medical devices, and diagnostic platforms. Each company will receive $75,000 of investment capital and is guaranteed two pilot projects with Arkansas healthcare providers.
More information about HealthTech Arkansas, including an online application, can be found at HealthTechArkansas.com.