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Kaiser Permanente Joins New Digital Health Collaborative

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   January 14, 2022

Kaiser Permanente has joined Graphite Health, a non-profit formed by several large health systems to create an interoperable digital health platform and bring new products and services to scale.

Kaiser Permanente has joined several other large healthcare organizations in a collaborative aimed at creating an interoperable digital health platform for developing and scaling innovative tools and services.

Graphite Health operates as a non-profit, according to officials, with a board of executives comprised of representatives from Kaiser Pemanente, Intermountain Healthcare, Presbyterian Healthcare Services and SSM Health. Members help guide the company’s direction and will receive products designed for and by them along with the resources to use them.

“We know that by working together to address interoperability at scale, we can create more convenience, better quality care, and lower costs,” Ries Robinson, MD, former vice president and chief innovation officer at Presbyterian and Graphite Health’s new CEO, said in a press release. “As Kaiser Permanente is nationally known for their innovative approach, we look forward to working closely with them to digitally transform and improve health care, and ultimately, to help patients and members across the country live better, healthier lives.”

The company, launched roughly four months ago, is modeled after Civica Rx, a non-profit developer of generic medications formed in 2018 by a number of healthcare organizations (including SSM Health and Kaiser Permanente) and philanthropies aimed at reducing drug costs and drug shortages. That company now partners with more than 55 health systems, the US Department of Defense, and 18 Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, plans to bring more than 100 medications to market by 2023 and is building its own manufacturing facility in Virginia.

The initiative targets the fast growing digital health industry, which includes mHealth apps and devices, connected health sensors and wearables, telehealth platforms and digital therapeutics. Interest in the field has taken off with the pandemic, which forced many health systems to shift from in-person to virtual care and is now playing a part in many post-pandemic strategies.

“Graphite Health is tackling some of the most pressing issues in health care today, making it easier to adopt digital health tools with a focus on trust and transparency,” Kaiser Permanente chair and CEO Greg A. Adams said in the press release. “By joining Graphite Health now, we are excited to help shape the future of digital health transformation, and to improve patient and member experience at Kaiser Permanente and beyond.”

Company officials said they expect to add more healthcare organizations and philanthropies in the future, and are looking to partner with technology innovators.

Eric Wicklund is the Innovation and Technology Editor for HealthLeaders.

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