New York’s largest healthcare provider Northwell Health and NYC-based startup studio Aegis Ventures announced the finalization of definitive agreements to launch Ascertain, a joint company creation platform. Ascertain is a first-of-its-kind partnership that pairs a dynamic venture studio with one of the nation’s largest and most impactful health systems to develop and commercialize breakthrough healthcare AI companies that improve quality and access to care and close health equity gaps.
Why does it matter?
Ascertain represents a novel, more targeted approach to the way entrepreneurs and healthcare systems collaborate to solve major healthcare challenges. The platform combines clinical and business leadership, expert technical and product teams, access to Northwell’s leading, diverse datasets, and capital resources within a single ecosystem – with a sole focus on building and validating effective solutions that can be rapidly brought to market.
Ascertain has commenced the creation of its first portfolio companies in partnership with Northwell’s clinicians and administrators. One such collaboration is focused on bringing substantive improvements in maternal health, working hand-in-hand with Northwell’s recently launched Center for Maternal Health to develop new approaches to detecting and managing serious complications for expectant mothers and babies. Ascertain’s data science team has been working hand-in-hand with Northwell’s Maternal and Fetal Medicine team to examine tens of thousands of cases of preeclampsia, a hypertensive pregnancy complication that disproportionately affects Black mothers in the United States.
On the record
“Existing approaches to the detection of preeclampsia often occur too late in pregnancy, once the condition has begun to manifest. An important enabler for a solution to this challenge is predictive analytics, applying available knowledge of a patient’s history to enable action far earlier with simple, yet life-saving, clinical interventions. We believe the AI solution Ascertain is currently developing will enable this,” shared Burt Rochelson, MD, Chief of Maternal Medicine at Northwell Health.
“Aegis and Northwell’s multidisciplinary teams are pursuing innovation through a systematic approach that will bring validated solutions to patients more quickly and at a lower cost,” said Bill Schoenfeld, Aegis Ventures Chairman. “Our skillsets are extraordinarily complementary and enable us to address healthcare’s most entrenched quality, equity, and cost problems far more powerfully than either organization could alone.”
“Ascertain brings a unique structure, an innovative approach, and a compelling vision to create breakthrough healthcare AI companies that are set up for success,” said Michael Dowling, President and CEO of Northwell Health. “We are all driven by the idea that everyone deserves access to high-quality, affordable healthcare. Our aim is clear: to find new, cost-efficient ways to create and accelerate companies that deliver real, equitable solutions.”
Using cutting-edge data science techniques, the Ascertain team aims to deliver an AI solution that helps clinicians predict the risk of developing preeclampsia, enabling them to intervene earlier than previously possible.
Ascertain is preparing to launch multiple companies in 2022 that focus on maternal health, chronic disease detection and management, and next-generation AI tools.