Digital health is the key to success in Massachusetts, at least according to the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP). The MACP, a nonprofit public policy group composed of 16 CEOs from some of the largest Massachusetts based companies, engages in many areas of public interest – energy, education, government and more. But as the group moves forward, they’ve decided to focus their technical strategy on digital health in particular, an area where they feel our state could truly shine.
Bryan Jamele, Executive Vice President of MACP, says that the MACP will be working to leverage the strength of the Commonwealth in delivering healthcare, biomedical innovation and IT security, making Massachusetts a global center for the digital health industry. “This is an opportunity for Massachusetts to stand out within the tech space,” says Jamele. “Focusing on digital health is an initiative the entire group has coalesced around.”
The MACP didn’t arrive at this decision right away – they spent time considering many spaces where Massachusetts could be more competitive. But digital health came through loud and clear because of the resources the area already has, Jamele says – there are already great hospitals, research institutions, researchers, clinicians and companies in the area. The key now will be to leverage these resources to build on the digital health industry that already exists.
After making the decision to focus on digital health, MACP leaders spent two years working with key leaders in academia, industry, research and investment to identify priorities for their digital healthcare initiative. These include providing funding at different stages in growth for new companies, improving STEM education to foster the talent in young students, supporting entrepreneurial faculty and students throughout Massachusetts, and retaining local talent rather than losing it to places like the Silicon Valley.
Now, the MACP is beginning the push for digital healthcare growth. First, they plan to start a mentoring program, which is in its early stages. The hope is that some of their group will speak at various universities around the state so younger students will have the opportunity to network and talk with successful CEOs. Second, they’re looking for space in the city for people to land and have the opportunity to network, attend programming events, and for mentorship to grow beyond universities. Lastly, they are working with Leerink Partners to develop a private equity fund that would invest in digital healthcare companies in Massachusetts.
The MACP hopes that by growing the initial digital healthcare base, more companies will start coming to Massachusetts and staying here. This will ensure a secure environment for the industry with all the right tools – academia, government, and startup support. “We feel that digital healthcare is the best bet for an early win,” says Jamele. “We want to incentivize growth in the biotech sectors through our work.”
Soniya Shah is an on-staff contributing writer at MedTech Boston. She's a senior at Carnegie Mellon University pursuing a BS in technical writing. She has experience as a ghost writer and medical writer, and in developing software documentation.
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