Intermountain Foundry Rewards Employee Innovation at Inaugural Event

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Last month, a bevy of executives, physicians, clinicians, and members of the community gathered for an inaugural Innovation and Growth Event. This event introduced the first four projects to complete an eight-week program through the Intermountain Foundry designed to support employees’ ideas for improving the quality of care while reducing costs.

Healthbox—Intermountain’s partner in the Foundry—hosted the event. The Foundry process began with 40 applications that were reviewed for strategic fit, business need, and market opportunity. In a world in which an estimated 8 out of 10 businesses fail, aligning new ideas with good strategy makes them that much more likely to succeed.

In a format similar to the television show Shark Tank, each project was presented before a panel of four experts in business, administration, medicine, and information technology.

The four “companies” presented were:

  • Wailua Magnetics: Dr. John Doty, MD presented a more effective and less expensive tool and care process for ablation, a technique used to treat atrial fibrillation.
  • GermWatch: Dr. Per Gesteland, MD, MSc gave details about future plans and expansion of GermWatch, a software tool that allows physicians, clinicians, and the community to track which infectious “bugs” are prevalent in their localities.
  • SmartPX: Dr. Benjamin Horne, PhD shared his project, SmartPX (short for smart prognosis), a predictive analytics score used to reduce readmission rates for patients with heart failure.
  • Micro Environ: Last, Pravin Mishra, PhD and Lincoln Naduald, MD, PhD spoke about a method for improving cancer cell studies through a new culture medium called ME-gel, which differs from traditional media because it is based on human cells rather than the cells of mice.

Along with these innovators, more than 50 other Intermountain employees were involved and dedicated to refining and rapidly testing these new products and ideas. “The Foundry is a great example of how Intermountain’s various Innovation and Growth programs, including the Transformation Lab, The Homer Warner Center for Informatics Research, Business Development, and others can work together to make great things happen,” said George Hamilton, Vice President, Business Development. The event concluded with a spontaneously composed ballad (accompanied by ukulele) that outlined the highlights of each project and a chance to view conference posters and demos of the projects.

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Innovation and Growth at Intermountain Healthcare supports the ideation, creation, and adoption of new solutions that will improve quality and service while making care more affordable. We harness internal creativity and external disruption to continually improve outcomes, longevity, and overall wellbeing.

Intermountain partnered with Healthbox to bring its employees the Intermountain Foundry, one of the many avenues supporting employee innovation at Intermountain Healthcare. Through a structured eight-week process, employee innovators are supported to refine their business concept, assess the commercial viability, identify product development or service needs, and develop a plan to scale internally within Intermountain or beyond in the broader healthcare industry. The application process is open and you can submit your ideas at: http://innovationatintermountain.com.