Hackensack Meridian Health and the New Jersey Innovation Institute Launch Program to Support New Health Care Products and Strategies

August 16, 2017

New Agile Strategies Lab on the NJIT campus is the first incubator of its kind in New Jersey.

Hackensack Meridian Health and the New Jersey Innovation Institute, a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, are proud to announce the opening of the Agile Strategies Lab, the first incubator of its kind for health care advances in New Jersey.

The lab, located on the NJIT campus in Newark, is designed to help create and launch the next wave of problem-solving in health care through better devices, improved technology and more efficient services to provide a higher quality of care, lower costs, and an enhanced patient experience.

The concept is similar to the popular ABC reality show Shark Tank – 10 companies have already pitched ideas to a panel of experts. Innovations include a device to lower risk in common surgeries and a wearable monitor to better track patients’ vitals. Four finalists will be selected to start the process to bring the products or innovations to market.

“As a member of NJII’s Ideation Program for Healthcare, Hackensack Meridian Health intends to leverage the combined skills of entrepreneurs, major corporations, research scientists, students and NJIT faculty to solve our challenges with novel strategies and products,” said Robert C. Garrett co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “This isn’t theoretical, it’s happening.”

Hackensack Meridian Health has committed $25 million, a new revenue stream to help companies develop trailblazing products and services. This seed money will help launch ideas to the point where they can become viable and receive financing through venture capitalists.

While many of the nation’s major academic medical centers have such incubators, this venture is truly unique because it brings together entrepreneurs and innovators from life sciences, engineering and technology – not just the clinical realm. This remarkable collaboration will provide solutions to health care challenges in every sphere, not just in creating more effective medicines or treatment.

“The health care market is overdue for a new disruptive technology that makes a marked improvement in the way health care technology products and services are provided to consumers,” said Joel Bloom, Ph.D., president of NJIT. “It is our belief that this new state-of-the-art ideation center will help spark our next wave of innovation.”

The health care industry is facing daunting challenges and the time for innovation couldn’t be greater: 76 million baby boomers are heading into middle age and the golden years, a demographic surge that will dramatically stress our health care system. National health care expenditures reached $3.2 trillion in 2015, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – that’s $9,900 per capita – a number that will only grow.

“Our partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health capitalizes on our organizations’ combined resources that we hope will have a dramatic impact on the future of health care in New Jersey and across the nation,” said Donald Sebastian, Ph.D, president of NJII.

Hackensack Meridian Health’s vast network – 13 hospitals in seven counties, more than 100 outpatient centers and 6,000 physicians – will serve as a vehicle to test some of the innovations once they are advanced enough as determined by a panel of experts from multiple disciplines.

“We welcome this partnership with NJII and stand behind our commitment to the next wave of inventors and entrepreneurs who will deliver new ways of caring for patients and lowering the overall cost of health care,” said John K. Lloyd, Co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health.

“The new lab will help inventors obtain patents and help bring to the bedside leading innovations more quickly,” said Andrew Pecora, M.D. chief innovation officer and president of Physician Services at Hackensack Meridian Health. “The lab will also offer portfolio management of companies launched. I don’t think you have this anywhere else in the country. And keep in mind, this isn’t just about life sciences, this is information technology, best practices – it’s anything you can think of that makes the health care experience, from beginning to end, better.”

“Our new lab will play host to the brightest minds our state and nation have to offer,” said Tomas Gregorio, senior executive director, New Jersey Innovation Institute. “Together we will solve problems, launch products and redirect healthcare in ways not yet imagined.”

Photo caption from left: Tomas Gregorio, senior executive director, NJII; Assistant Health Commissioner Christopher Rinn; Donald Sebastian, president, NJII; Joel Bloom, president, NJIT; Robert C. Garrett, co-CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health; John K. Lloyd, co-CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health; Andrew Pecora, M.D., chief innovation officer and president of Physician Services at Hackensack Meridian Health; and Thomas Bartiromo, chief innovation officer, NJII.

For More Information Please Contact: Daniel Emmer at NJII Daniel.Emmer@njii.com 732-575-2488 or Mary Jo Layton at Hackensack Meridian Health: Maryjo.layton@hmhn.org 848-888-4513 or 201-396-4499


New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) is an NJIT corporation that applies the intellectual and technological resources of the state’s science, technology and design university to challenges identified by industry partners. Through its Innovation Labs (iLabs), NJII brings NJIT expertise to key economic sectors, including healthcare delivery systems, bio-pharmaceutical production, civil infrastructure, defense and homeland security, and financial services.

The NJII Healthcare Delivery System’s iLab is committed to improving healthcare through innovative programs and services including the Garden Practice Transformation Network that is moving more than 10,000 physicians from fee-for-service to value-based care as part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative. Through the program, NJII will save more than $135 million in healthcare costs and improve the lives of more than 500,000 patients with chronic illnesses.

The iLab is also driving the healthcare technological revolution in our State through the New Jersey Health Information Network (NJHIN), a shared services platform developed by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) and powered by NJII that is enabling statewide data sharing by connecting health information exchange organizations (HIE/HIO), hospitals, and clinicians together though admission, discharge, and transfer (ADT) alerts, immunization data, and a Master Person Index that uniquely identifies patients across the healthcare continuum. Additionally, NJHIN’s Use Cases are empowering more than 500 providers and over 20 Long Term and Post Acute Care (LTPAC) facilities to have access to State public health registries and other healthcare stakeholders’ data sharing sources to assist them with accomplishing population health and improving clinical outcomes.

The iLab also partners with physicians to help them report on Federal and State administered quality improvement programs, including the Merit-based Incentive Payment Program (formerly Meaningful Use and Physician Quality Reporting System), the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program, and Accountable Care Organizations. Over the past six (6) years, the iLab has helped member providers receive more than $100 million in incentive payments. In 2016, NJII’s member hospitals received more than $47.6 million in incentive payments.


Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 13 hospitals, including two academic medical centers, two children’s hospitals and nine community hospitals, physician practices, more than 120 ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, and urgent care and after-hours centers. Hackensack Meridian Health has 28,000 team members, more than 6,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The Network’s notable distinctions include having one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, the network with the most top-ranked hospitals in New Jersey, including the No. 1 ranked Hackensack University Medical Center for the sixth consecutive year, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. The network is also noted for consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Health Care” in the nation, and the number one “Best Place to Work for Women.” Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

The hospitals of Hackensack Meridian Health include: academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune; children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; community hospitals – Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and Pascack Valley Medical Center