MemorialCare, a FountainValley-based hospital and physician chain, and Cedars-Sinai, the
The fund will take minority investment positions in start-up health care businesses and provide expertise and advice to help nurture them and bring them to market.
Ideas that will be considered could include new medical devices, non-invasive surgical techniques and information technology to help monitor patients and connect their caregivers.
Heise said the fund, which started up last month, has not made any investments yet but is examining "several opportunities." Ideas could come from employees and physicians affiliated with the health systems or from outside investors and entrepreneurs, he said. The main criteria for possible investment are whether they "can move the needle for MemorialCare or Cedars" and have a "proven management team," he said.
"An underlying premise of ours is that if it's good for Cedars and MemorialCare, there's a high likelihood that a high percentage of hospitals and health care systems out there will benefit from it," Heise said.
Thomas M. Prisleac, president and CEO of Cedars-Sinai, said the partnership with MemorialCare "will foster extraordinary innovation that will help physicians, nurses, other health care professionals and patients locally and around the nation."
MemorialCare operates Orange Coast Memorial and Saddleback Memorial hospitals in
Cedars-Sinai's crown jewel is an 886-bed academic medical center in
Together, the two health systems have 2,500 licensed hospital beds and 250 different medical locations that provide care to 2 million people a year.
Numerous health systems around the country are engaged in business ventures to promote innovation in medical care.
The Cedars-MemorialCare affiliation should allow the two groups to complement each other's very different strengths, said
Vriesman said the biggest challenge for the venture is "just reaping a payoff."
"The adoption of innovative techniques or products is relatively slow in health care," she said. "So for a joint venture capital fund, they're both going to have to be patient. It's not like in the tech industry or manufacturing or retail where you make big profits fast then move onto the next product cycle."
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