Launched during the pandemic, 1501 Health is a yearlong incubation and investment program that helps startups develop their health care solutions with a combination of mentoring, educational aid and $100,000 in investment capital.
The program is the brainchild of LifeBridge Health, the nonprofit health care corporation that operates several medical facilities in the Baltimore area, including Sinai Hospital, Grace Medical Center and Northwest Hospital, and Healthworx, the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.
“This partnership between a community health system and a large health insurance company to create an incubator for startup companies is likely the first of its kind in the country and maybe the world,” said Pothik Chatterjee, assistant vice president for innovation at LifeBridge Health.
The goal of 1501 Health is to transform the health care landscape, and supporters say that is already happening, as many of the startups who have gotten the help are demonstrating their value and improving the health care system.
“They say when you bring multiple minds together, it can create another mind,” Chatterjee said. The program, he said, is leveraging the unique assets of the area, including local regulators and the medical systems in greater Baltimore, to form a network of connections to uplift each other with the greater goal of better health for area residents.
“This sort of national-level, high-quality incubator that supports early-stage digital health innovation brings operations into the region, provides opportunities to collaborate with other influential organizations in the city, and engages health care experts to bring this impact to life,” he said.