THE BLOG
10/17/2012 03:03 pm ET | Updated Dec 16, 2012

New Tech City Just Got Healthier

Move over Silicon Valley, the Bay Area and Seattle... New York City is the new HUB for Healthcare IT.

Eight startups made the cut from a hopeful group of 250 in a Shark-Tank-like presentation with venture capitalists, healthcare honchos and the New York state public utility charged with getting all medical records online, to land a 300,000 dollar deal to move to the Big Apple. Today the names of the inaugural class of the New York Digital Health Accelerator NYHDA, were revealed at the New York Digital Health Conference by the New York e-Health Collaborative (NYeC, @NYeHealth on twitter) and NY City Investment Fund.

The 4.2 million dollar "accelerator" program puts it's foot on the gas for the next nine months with healthcare coaches in the largest program of it's kind in the U.S. It's not just the money and the knowledge that theseentrepreneurs will help make New Yorkers healthier, with the new assignmentcomes an estimated 1,500 jobs created in the next five years.

"This accelerator program is the largest of it's kind with around 10 times the funding per health IT start-up or any other accelerator in the country, and a roster of C-level executives around to mentor the companies," said NYeC Executive Director David Whitlinger. "The eight will create software and products with the input and testing of the end user- hospitals and doctors- from thevery beginning. Venture capitalists take note that the customers have a hand in creating the product, so it is a custom-made product."

The eight emerging Health IT companies highlighted at the event are:

· Adhere Tx (www.adhertx.com)

· Aidin (www.myaidin.com)

· Avado (www.avado.com)

· CipherHealth (www.cipherhealth.com)

· Cureatr (www.cureatr.com)

· MedCPU (www.medcpu.com)

· Remedy Systems (www.remedysystems.com)

· SpectraMD ( www.spectramd.com)

In addition, it is expected that the companies will attract upwards of $150 million to $200 million in investment from the venture capital community post-program.

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Photo caption- Changing the way healthcare is delivered, from apps to software, the accelerator team includes from let to right: NYeC's Anuj Desai, Winthrop University Hospital's Maureen Gaffney, Avado's Dave Chase and John Yii, and NYeC's David Whitlinger.

Dave Chase, CEO of Avado (one of the eight companies selected for the accelerator's class, pictured here, middle) says he is opening shop in NYC because it's all about being where the right players are. "We got involved, even though we're based in Seattle, as it is clear that NY is becoming the epicenter of healthcare's reinvention. We simply had to be here if we wanted to be a leader in healthcare's future."

Not in the accelerator program, but running at top speed on your own in Health IT? The public utility called the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY) wants everyone in the industry to "plug-and-play with them. "Get in touch with us. Whether you have an app or other solution, we are building a 'shiny' app store, with an open-access network," said Anuj Desai, Director of Business Development at NYeC.

It's not just other states that are taking note, countries like Finland and Ireland attended today's conference looking to replicate accelerator programs abroad.

State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H. said, "The Accelerator is an essential first step to stimulate the market and nurture innovation within the entrepreneurial community."

Chief Medical Information Officer of Winthrop University Hospital, Maureen Gaffney, explains that this program will improve poor communication with communication between providers and with the patient. "This shed a spotlight on the gaps where, before health IT, we relied on faxes and phone calls and it varied from one doctor to the next. Now the products and software will work well together and will be embedded in our day-to-day practices. We can count on it and so can the patients."

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but if you are sick or work in health IT, it looks like the Big Apple is the place you want to be.

Disclosur: I am a health and fitness blogger (www.nikkifitness.com) and a consultant for Regan Communications. Regan represents several clients including NYeC, who invited me to cover the conference.