General Catalyst Adds UC Davis Health to List of Health System Partners

Nov. 14, 2022
The venture capital firm already had four announced U.S. partnerships for its Health Assurance Network — with Intermountain, Jefferson, HCA Healthcare and WellSpan

UC Davis Health has joined the growing list of health systems to partner with venture capital firm General Catalyst to focus on digital medicine transformation strategy.

General Catalyst, which has partnered with several U.S. healthcare systems, recently entered into a similar collaboration with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) in the United Kingdom.

In an October interview with Healthcare Innovation, Chris Bischoff, managing director at General Catalyst, spoke about the firm’s overall approach and its U.S. collaborations.

“We have a thesis that in healthcare radical collaboration is required amongst healthcare industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors to achieve change and transformation,” he said. “I think that's true of the U.S., but I think it's doubly true of Europe. By partnering, we embed a sense of collaboration and integration and coordination in the founding ethos of these companies. The idea is to connect the traditional healthcare system with innovators in order to accelerate transformation.”

General Catalyst has four announced U.S. partnerships — with Intermountain, Jefferson, HCA Healthcare and WellSpan, and Bischoff said there were further ones coming, and now UC Davis has joined the group.

General Catalyst partners leverage the firm’s Health Assurance Network, which is a group of tech innovation companies within General Catalyst’s investment portfolio. These companies include Transcarent, Olive, Oscar, Livongo, Cityblock Health, Sprinter Health, Commure, and Circulo, among others.

As part of their new partnership, UC Davis Health will use the General Catalyst ecosystem of companies to drive artificial intelligence (AI) and digital health innovations in healthcare delivery, research, education, and public service, as well as the medical center's ongoing transformational efforts in operations, care and outcomes.

“Digital innovations in medicine have the potential to not only improve patient outcomes but be a game-changer for the entire healthcare sector,” said Ashish Atreja, chief information officer and chief digital officer at UC Davis Health, in a statement. “This collaboration will create an environment that fosters open innovation in digital health, which we hope will lead to new solutions to improve the lives of our patients, increase the efficiency of health care systems and have a positive impact on the health of our communities.”

UC Davis Health and General Catalyst will form a collaboration committee to ensure strategic alignment, mutual accountability and operational connectivity. The group will explore collaboration opportunities, co-development of new businesses and co-development of products, services, and technologies by leveraging UC Davis Health as an innovation center.

“In order to accelerate healthcare transformation, General Catalyst believes that partnering with leading-edge systems like UC Davis Health is instrumental. As an academic medical center with an established innovation arm, Digital CoLab, UC Davis Health has spearheaded transformation efforts within the broader UC system to aim to deliver improved health outcomes,” said Daryl Tol, head of health assurance ecosystem at General Catalyst, in a statement.

To showcase emerging digital transformation trends, General Catalyst will also host UC Davis Health for sessions to share strategy around advances at the intersection of healthcare and technology. These will help UC Davis Health incorporate approaches and solutions around health equity, digital literacy, and data inclusivity objectives.

“UC Davis Health’s collaborative culture and demonstrated commitment to health equity makes General Catalyst proud to welcome them into our Health Assurance partnerships,” Tol added. We are excited to initiate this journey together, engage our health industry experience, and facilitate cross-pollination across our ecosystem partners to help drive UC Davis Health’s sustainable health care transformation.” 

This partnership is the latest initiative from UC Davis Health to advance digital medicine through its Digital CoLab (Digital Collaborative for Innovation and Validation), led by Keisuke Nakagawa, director of innovation for the Digital CoLab and executive director of the Cloud Innovation Center. The program is the AI and digital health innovation hub for UC Davis Health and is focused on accelerating digital health technologies to make healthcare more accessible, equitable, and inclusive.

“This unique collaboration will create an environment of shared learning to maximize the value for the funders and streamline the innovation efforts at UC Davis Health and across the UC system,” said Yauheni Solad, M.D., M.H.S., M.B.A., chief medical information officer for digital health and vice president of innovation at UC Davis Health, in a statement. Before joining UC Davis Health this year, Solad served as a medical director of digital health at Yale New Haven Health and chief medical information officer of Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut.

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