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First In Digital Studio Plus

The Eshelman Institute is working across campus to improve patient care by commercializing UNC’s digital health research through novel new approaches in translation and startup creation.

In 2021, The Eshelman Institute launched a digital health pilot with a top venture studio, High Alpha Innovation, with UNC Health with the intention of launching the first university-based digital health venture studio in the country.

In the first venture studio pilot cohort, the partnership evaluated 25 attractive university and UNC Health digital health venture concepts that were identified and curated by the Eshelman Institute. The 13-week studio sprint follows a rigorous assumption-testing approach to systematically shape concepts into new businesses. Only 2-4 of the most attractive and immediately feasible venture concepts make it through these stage gates and get to compete in sprint week. Sprint week is the venture studio’s intensive week long “forcing function” for launching new businesses.

During our 2021 summer sprint, two concepts made it to sprint week with AI Virtual Crossmatch moving forward for launch as Epulate, Inc. in the Spring of 2022.

Our next Venture Studio cohort kicks off in June! Do you have a digital health idea and are interested in participating in our 2022 summer venture studio cohort? Contact Bob Dieterle for more information and to discuss your idea.


Amazon AWS Partnership   

The Institute partnered with Amazon AWS in 2021 to accelerate software-based research translation to a point of higher value and readiness. This partnership is enabling UNC research faculty to access the modern Amazon app architectures to make software development much easier and efficient while offering the security and scalability needed to effectively deploy HIPAA-compliant technologies at scale.

Amazon is providing free training and migration services, up to $10,000 of cloud credits per project, and in-kind collaborations with their top researchers and developers launching the first successful pilot in December of 2021.

John Bamforth, Ph.D., director of the Eshelman Institute for Innovation said, “This powerful relationship between the University, the Eshelman Institute for Innovation, and AWS has the potential to spark innovative health care ideas that are accessible worldwide and have the potential to change patients’ lives for the better.”

In 2022, we will continue to build on the successful pilot we ran last year to accelerate digital translation with Amazon AWS. The goal will be to create a standardized translational approach to digital health research and technologies and make the AWS cloud and it’s no code/low code artificial intelligence and machine learning tools broadly available throughout the university.

To learn more about our partnership with Amazon AWS, contact the Eshelman Institute.