Boston Children’s Hospital, Rock Health partner to speed pediatric digital health startups

BOSTON (November 10, 2015) — Boston Children’s Hospital and digital health venture fund Rock Health today announced a strategic partnership aimed at accelerating the development of pediatric health technologies. Detailed today during Boston Children’s Hospital’s Global Pediatric Innovation Summit + Awards (#PedInno15), the partnership will foster the development of digital tools and devices to improve pediatric care.

“We want to make health care massively better for every child,” says Rock Health founder and managing director Halle Tecco. “With its clinical expertise, its deep investment in digital health, and its passionate clinicians, Boston Children’s is the ideal pediatric partner for us.”

Through the partnership, Rock Health will fund and support promising digital startup companies. Boston Children’s will act as clinical advisor, help companies shape and pilot technologies in the pediatric market and in some cases support or collaborate on projects from both inside and outside the hospital.

“We’re excited to form this collaboration with the leading digital health early-stage venture capital firm,” says John Brownstein, PhD, Chief Innovation Officer at Boston Children’s. “It’s easy for our innovators to get lost in the commercialization process, and most can’t carve out the time to move an idea forward. With this partnership, they will have access to strategic guidance, funding and resources to accelerate project development.”

As Rock Health’s only pediatric partner, Boston Children's will also help advance projects in Rock Health’s existing portfolio and identify and foster emerging technologies in the pediatric space. Rock Health has already invested in healthcare/child health-oriented companies including Kurbo Health, Cellscope and Kinsights.

Through its highly regarded Innovation Acceleration Program and renowned research enterprise, Boston Children’s brings unmatched clinical, education and scientific expertise to the partnership. This expertise encompasses big data/data science, digital devices, clinically validated software development, decision support tools, interoperability standards and platforms (such as SMART/FHIR), social media analysis, genomics, 3D printing and epidemiology/population health tracking.

Boston Children’s is also experienced in launching and working with startup companies. In 2014, for example, the hospital sold its digital epidemiology platform, Epidemico, to Booz Allen Hamilton; helped launch, a cloud-based platform for complex care; and saw SpecialNeedsWare launch cloud-based teaching materials for autism developed by the hospital’s Center for Communication Enhancement.

“We have supported many digital health projects, but pediatrics is especially exciting to us as an area of tremendous opportunity,” says Tecco. “Parents are highly engaged and more digitally connected than ever, and helping children have better health outcomes could have a lifetime impact. We look forward to many new ventures coming out of this partnership.”

Read more from Rock Health in this blog post.

Erin Tornatore

About Boston Children’s Hospital

Boston Children’s Hospital is home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 1,100 scientists, including seven members of the National Academy of Sciences, 11 members of the Institute of Medicine, and 10 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Boston Children’s research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Boston Children’s today is a 404-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health and the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more, visit our Answers blog and follow us on Twitter (@BostonChildrens, @BCH_Innovation), Facebook and YouTube.

About Rock Health

Rock Health is the first venture fund dedicated to digital health. Rock Health partners include AARP, Abbott, Blue Shield of California, Boehringer Ingelheim, Brigham and Women’s, Boston Children’s Hospital, CVS Health, Deloitte, Genentech, Kaiser Permanente, Qualcomm Life, and the VA Center for Innovation. For more information, visit