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J&J Health and Wellness Solutions and Plug and Play Tech Center create accelerator to support innovation

BY Michael Johnsen

 
 
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions on Wednesday announced a collaboration with Plug and Play Tech Center, a global investor and technology accelerator, to support innovative, early-stage companies developing direct-to-consumer solutions that enhance wellness.
 
Participation in the newly created Health and Wellness Technology Accelerator is open to companies that support human wellbeing through interventions that target nutrition, physical activity, stress, sleep, alcohol and smoking cessation.  Companies will be selected based on criteria established jointly by JJHWS and Plug and Play.  
 
"We take a very investor-driven mindset [toward start-up companies or entrepreneurs], which is really about establishing what are the proof points, what are the points of derisking new technology and structuring a pilot or proof of concept around that," Stacy Feld, senior director of Consumer Scientific Innovation at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, shared with a Plug and Play panel at the IoT & Health Expo in December (see video above). "Then we wrap the right business structure around that, recognizing that it's not one size fits all." 
 
Consistent with Johnson & Johnson's efforts to support diversity and its focus on increasing women's representation in science and technology, the accelerator will target at least 30% participation by companies founded by women or minorities.
 
The Health and Wellness Technology Accelerator complements Johnson & Johnson Innovation JLABS, which supports emerging pharmaceutical and medical device companies with a specific focus on new medicines, molecules and products. 
 
"Our collaboration with Plug and Play extends Johnson & Johnson's focus on innovation and investment in a technology-driven healthcare ecosystem that puts people at the center," stated Len Greer, president of JJHWS. "Our company offers a unique combination of deep consumer insights, behavioral and biological science expertise, regulatory experience, analytics and design thinking capability, and we are committed to collaborating with the best technology companies to transform human health and wellbeing."
 
The accelerator will provide a rigorous three-month program for two groups of companies per year. Both Johnson & Johnson Health & Wellness Solutions and Plug and Play will provide coaching and mentorship support to the start-up founders. As part of this mentorship, the companies may be eligible to participate in the Corporate Athlete program offered by the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, which trains executives on how to manage and expand their energy to maximize performance in both their business and personal lives.
 
The collaboration commitment is for three years, with annual renewal options thereafter. Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions will provide an award for the three most promising companies in each group, based on their potential to make a meaningful impact in consumer wellness.
 
Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions and Plug and Play may also provide seed funding for companies that best align with the Johnson & Johnson wellness mission. Follow-on funding may also be available for select companies.
 
Applications for the first group opened Jan. 6 and close on Feb. 15, 2016, and the program kicks off on March 31, 2016. To apply, visit: http://bit.ly/applyhealth
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Zipdrug, CityMD team on Rx delivery kiosks

BY David Salazar

NEW YORK — Prescription delivery service Zipdrug and urgent care provider CityMD announced Thursday a new partnership that will bring kiosks to CityMD locations. 
 
With the new kiosks, patients at CityMD’s locations — beginning with the one in Manhattan’s Murray Hill — will be able to order medication delivery from any pharmacy after seeing a doctor. The medication will be picked up by a Zipdrug messenger and delivered to the patient’s preferred location. Patients can also track their delivery live in the Zipdrug app. 
 
“We are thrilled about this partnership and having the chance to work with the region's biggest and most successful urgent care group,” Zipdrug CEO and co-founder Stu Libby — who Drug Store News interviewed in 2015 — said. “CityMD's mission to deliver kindness in the form of a seamless healthcare experience mirrors ours at Zipdrug — we're a great fit. Zipdrug's service will help CityMD patients get the most out of each urgent care visit, enabling them to get back to their busy lives without having to make the potentially long stop at the pharmacy.”
 
For CityMD, the partnership is a way for them to further its mission of offering convenient care for patients. 
 
“By teaming up with Zipdrug we can now deliver even more convenient, quality care," CityMD founder and CEO Dr. Richard Park said. “Zipdrug allows patients to spend more time in the comfort of their homes while they are sick instead of at the pharmacy. We are always looking for innovations that enable us to treat our patients better.”
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MultiCare Health System unveils virtual care service

BY David Salazar

SEATTLE — MultiCare Health System announced Thursday that it had launched its new eCare service, which patients can use to have their common illnesses diagnosed and treated. 
 
For $25, patients can use eCare to have their symptoms sent by email or text to a physician following an online interview, allowing them to be diagnosed in under an hour during business hours. The platform, developed by Zipnosis, also allows patients to send a prescription to their preferred pharmacy. 
 
“MultiCare is committed to providing access to health care services in ways that are convenient and easy for patients,” MultiCare VP retail health, post acute care and service lines Christi McCarren said. “The Zipnosis platform allows us to use technology to meet consumers where they are — whether it's at home, at the office or on the soccer field — and offer quick help for health needs.”
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