Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare provider, and Aegis Ventures, a New York-based startup studio, announced at their inaugural Healthcare AI Innovation Summit 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.
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 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.”
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.
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.
“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 is preparing to launch multiple companies in 2022 that focus on maternal health, chronic disease detection and management, and next-generation AI tools.
Ascertain’s Chairman Tom Manning shared, “Together, we’re paving a new way forward, a monumental step toward real, proven AI solutions that can bring impact to the world. It is a bold collaboration to drive AI-backed companies that save lives and resolve long-standing health inequities – and realize results that deliver something greater in healthcare.”
Ascertain is a revolutionary new partnership between Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare provider, and Aegis Ventures, a dynamic startup studio. This unique partnership assembles leading medical, technology, and business resources to create a first-of-its-kind company creation platform for healthcare innovation to address healthcare’s most challenging quality, equity, and cost problems. Ascertain brings $100M in seed-stage capital to bear in pursuit of a three-pronged approach to company creation: internal ideation, commercialization of scientific breakthroughs, and US market entry partnerships for global ventures. Ascertain creates companies that improve quality of care, patient experience, and long-standing health, placing patient needs at the center of every business model, technology solution, and product.
About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest healthcare provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 830 outpatient facilities and more than 16,600 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 77,000 employees – 18,900 nurses and 4,800 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change healthcare for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. We’re training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies.
About Aegis Ventures
Aegis Ventures is a next-generation startup studio that partners with entrepreneurs and industry leaders to originate, launch, and scale transformative companies. Our platform brings together market-shaping ideas, permanent growth capital, and ambitious individuals driven to solve major societal problems. We aim to build companies with the capacity for vast impact, with an initial focus on artificial intelligence and digital health. Within these verticals, Aegis seeks to create companies that leverage technology to better optimize tradeoffs between quality, access, and cost, focusing on innovations that promote seamless continuity of care, patient empowerment, and better-informed clinical decision-making.