Skip to main content

Partners HealthCare Teams with Software Development Giant to Scale Innovations

Analysis  |  By Mandy Roth  
   October 18, 2018

Health system and Persistent Systems launch Pivot Labs to develop and deploy digital innovations

With the launch of its new digital innovations arm, Partners HealthCare Pivot Labs, Partners HealthCare has put the missing link in place to develop and deploy digital solutions, at scale, directly to providers and consumers. Created in partnership with Persistent Systems, a publicly traded technology company based in India, Pivot Labs aims to disrupt the delivery of healthcare to enhance the patient experience, improve clinical outcomes, and control costs.

While Partners has a strong history of designing patient-centered solutions through Partners Connected Health, "We haven't yet been able to develop these in a way that can be scaled across the enterprise," says Kamal Jethwani, MD, MPH, senior director of Partners Pivot Labs and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.

Finding ways to scale solutions is something many health systems grapple with. Yet a formal arrangement between a health system and a large technology company is unusual, offering a new approach to realize the potential of innovation.

"[Partners HealthCare is] a healthcare organization, and this collaboration brings us together with a technology powerhouse that is developing, deploying, and scaling technology-enabled solutions across industries," says Jethwani. "It will enable us to touch many more lives and to create a bigger impact."

Establishment of Pivot Labs involves investments from Persistent Systems and Partners HealthCare. Terms were not disclosed. The organization is launching operations with 30 employees who were reallocated from other positions at Partners, who will work on one of three teams: human-centered design, data science and analytics, and clinical research.

Jethwani says that ideas from within and outside of Partners will be considered for development. Collaboration with other health systems is welcomed, as well as pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, medical technology companies, and payers. The team will accelerate ideas through the entire development lifecycle, from ideation, prototyping, and validation, to enterprise-wide deployment in a clinical environment. One commonality will be to deliver patient-centered solutions.

"A lot of the problems that all of us face as healthcare systems are pretty common and similar," he says. "We can solve problems in a much larger ecosystem, learn from one another, and make these solutions bigger than we could on our own. We can solve really difficult problems in healthcare together and create a tangible impact."

Partners HealthCare is an integrated health system founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to its two academic medical centers, the Partners system includes community and specialty hospitals, a managed care organization, community health centers, a physician network, home health, long-term care services, and other health-related entities. The system announced the launch of Partners HealthCare Pivot Lab at the 2018 Connected Health Conference on Wednesday in Boston.



Mandy Roth is the innovations editor at HealthLeaders.

Get the latest on healthcare leadership in your inbox.