How Illinois is Fast Becoming a Health Tech Hub

How Illinois is Fast Becoming a Health Tech Hub | HealthSoul

From the invention of the Scribner Shunt that improved prognosis for end-stage renal disease patients, to the development of the implantable pacemaker, which greatly changed the game in cardiovascular care—the US has contributed a great deal to global health technology in the last 50 years. Recently, a particular state has been making its way to the forefront of the industry: Illinois.

So with that in mind, we are going to take a closer look at the factors contributing to the Prairie State quickly becoming one of the country’s most innovative health hubs.

The academe is research-intensive

Research is inarguably crucial in the development of health technology. Illinois is one state that ingrains research in one of its most fundamental institutions: its educational system. The state is home to five universities ranked in US News’ top 100 Best Medical Schools in the field of research, with two universities, the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, ranking in the top 20. These universities continue to invest in research to produce countless bodies of work that contribute to the health technology landscape in the state.

US-wide organizations are also taking notice of the innovative potential of the Illinois academe. The Small Business Association (SBA) recently awarded a $125,200 grant to EnterpriseWorks, a technology innovation hub run by the University of Illinois and located within its research park. The university-based hub has been supporting university research as well as technology businesses in the area. With SBA’s support, tech and health enthusiasts are expecting research within Illinois to expand to various health technology related fields such as biotechnology, chemical sciences, and software development, which are very valuable in producing better quality tools and services in medicine within and beyond the state.

Health tech businesses are booming

In the last five years alone, Illinois has welcomed a boom in health technology businesses. One of these is Tempus, a company that focuses on AI-led precision medical technology, recently expanding to solutions for infectious diseases. Another is Livongo Health, an innovative remote health monitoring software recently acquired by Teladoc, which provides digital solutions to chronic diseases like diabetes. External health businesses have also taken interest in the state. In March 2020, the ninth-best hospital in the world, Israel-based Sheba Medical Center, partnered with Chicago-based developer Farpoint Development to establish the ARC Innovation Center, a soon-to-be innovation hub focused on developing new biomedical technologies by bringing together businesses, universities, and entrepreneurs in the area.

Apart from factors like access to research and talented professionals, this boom can also be attributed to the state being extremely ‘business-friendly’. It helps that starting an LLC in Illinois is a very straightforward process. Aspiring health tech entrepreneurs need only file their articles of organization and pay the $150 fee with the Secretary of State before applying for an employer identification number. This easy process allows health tech entrepreneurs to dedicate more time and resources to business planning, research, and development.

The state government is tech forward

The health system as a whole has been a major driver for the Illinois’ economy, creating more jobs than any other industry in the state. Recognizing the application of technology in healthcare, the Prairie State government has recently released $500 million for statewide technology innovation networks. This funding provides insurmountable help to furthering research and fast tracking major developments in the state’s strengths, especially health and wellness.

The prowess of Illinois in health technology rests on its well-ingrained research culture. Its ability to recognize the value of medical innovation in its development has propelled it to great extents technologically and economically. As the state government and numerous businesses both inside and outside continue to invest funding and resources to the state, everyday citizens, tech enthusiasts, and entrepreneurs alike can look to Illinois for new strides in prolonging and elevating overall quality of life.