UCHealth to open innovation lab in Catalyst HTI building in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood

UCHealth announced Wednesday it is opening a lab and development space dedicated to health care innovation inside the River North neighborhood’s Cataylst HTI building.

The Aurora-based health care provider will be an anchor tenant at the soon-to-open, health-tech innovation project, according to Catalyst HTI co-founder Mike Biselli. The nonprofit will occupy 17,500 feet there — the entire seventh floor — and have a sign on the front of the building.

When it moves in either later this year or in early 2019, UCHealth will bring roughly 65 employees into a “next-generation workspace” designed to foster collaboration and new ideas, UCHealth officials say. The staff will include doctors, nurses, IT professionals and members of the marketing team.

“What we’re doing really is setting a path to think about how we best work with other innovators in the industry to fundamentally alter how health care is delivered,” Dr. Richard Zane, UCHealth’s chief innovation officer, said of the new space in an interview The Denver Post. “We are unequivocally putting a stake in the ground that innovation is our future.”

The space will include a model of a tech-infused “hospital room of the future,” where new devices and equipment can be tested. There will be an emphasis on research into device integration and wearable technology that can collect data from patients and beam it into the health care company’s cloud storage, according to UCHealth chief information officer Steve Hess.

Wednesday’s announcement is the biggest to date — both in size and potential impact — for the Catalyst project. The 180,000-square-foot building at 3513 Brighton Blvd. is designed to bring together dozens of health care providers, tech companies government, academic and nonprofit organizations to work together to achieve better health outcomes, according to Biselli. Other announced tenants so far include Kaiser Permanente, the American Diabetes Association and the Colorado School of Mines.

Biselli said the UCHealth lab is the first of its kind in the country. It’s a concept he expects to see proliferate.

“Health-tech innovation has the potential to significantly improve medical outcomes, and healthcare is not going to be re-imagined just through established healthcare organizations or startups — we have to do it together,” Biselli, said in a news release. “Our industry integrator concept allows UCHealth to be plugged in at the point of innovation by physically housing a healthcare innovation ecosystem in a single location — allowing entrepreneurs, technologists and clinicians to collaborate through the entire process of innovation.”

UCHealth runs 10 hospitals and more than 150 clinics in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska, according to a company spokeswoman. It treats about 1.4 million patients each year.

Biselli said the first tenants are expected to begin moving into Catalyst HTI later this month.

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