Written by Helen Gregg
In September, Seattle-based Providence Health & Services announced the launch of a venture capital fund designed to help early- and mid-stage health IT companies bring their products to market.
The fund, Providence Ventures, will invest $150 million over five to seven years to foster new IT products designed to improve care coordination, patient engagement, data analytics and other pressing areas for the healthcare industry.
While Providence Ventures is one of the most recently announced health system venture capital funds, it is far from the only one. Big-name health systems like Mayo Clinic, Dignity Health, Geisinger Health System and Cleveland Clinic all have venture capital funds, and many have similar goals — get innovative, beneficial technology on the market, and create an additional revenue stream for the health system.
One of the first health systems to jump into the venture capital space was MemorialCare Health System in Fountain Valley, Calif. with six hospitals and more than 200 healthcare sites in Los Angeles and Orange counties. The health system began making venture capital investments in technology companies more than a decade ago, though Brant Heise, the fund’s senior managing director, says it was more of an evolution than a conscious decision to start a venture capital fund.