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A group of leaders from 33 digital health companies in New York are calling on the legislature to fund the Statewide Health Information Network of New York, or SHIN-NY, just as the organization’s connecting HIEs and information systems are starting to build a critical mass.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing an appropriation of $65 million to SHIN-NY, a part of the new York eHealth Collaborative, to help connect New York’s ten regional health information organizations and increase provider participation.
Those ten RHIOs “are currently silo-ed,” the group wrote in a letter to legislators, and linking up to SHIN-NY would leave New York as “the first large state to implement a statewide health information exchange that is not tethered to a specific healthcare provider.”
The signatories include leaders from a range of digital health startups, like Anish Sebastian of IEQ, Frank Sculli of BioDigital and Chris Burrow of Humetrix, as well the EHR maker NextGen Healthcare and the investment firm New Leaf Venture Partners.
The funding would go a long way to creating a fully-integrated statewide HIE, for one thing, the group wrote. For another, it would help sustain New York as a hub for health technology innovation, with SHIN-NY expected to spur the creation of about 1,500 jobs across the Empire state over the new five years.
“Since 2008, New York City’s Silicon Alley has soared,” they wrote, with some 900 start-up Internet companies hiring for 3,000 jobs listed under the city’s “We Are Made In NY Initiative.”
New York-based health technology companies also raked in about $2.2 billion in venture capital last year.
“With this recent explosion of technology capital and an unrivaled density of healthcare organizations and hospitals, New York City and its neighboring regions are on the brink of leading a healthcare technology revolution,” the group wrote.
SHIN-NY has tried to build out a statewide HIE to serve as a public utility — one that turned out to be a critical resource during Hurricane Sandy — while its parent organization, the New York eHealth Collaborative, has tried to grow a health technology ecosystem.
As executive director David Whitlinger said in 2012, the organization is hoping to nurture startups that can fill marketplace gaps such as secure methods for sending health data between healthcare organizations; notification, alerting and monitoring to proactively manage care; cross-community care plan management tools; and patient access to their health information.