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Ion and Houston Methodist to Open Health Care Innovation Tech Hub

by Ion

Houston Methodist joins the Ion as its first healthcare-centric partner in its growing innovation hub. The hospital will build out a space at the Ion modeled after Houston Methodist’s Center for Innovation Technology Hub located at its flagship hospital in the Texas Medical Center to showcase the latest in healthcare innovation.

“Partnering with Houston Methodist’s Center for Innovation is exciting. This also will advance the Ion’s ability to support entrepreneurs and innovators that are already at the Ion as we embark on a new focus in health care innovation,” said Jan Odegard, Executive Director of the Ion.

Expected to open later this year, the Tech Hub at the Ion will occupy an approximately 1,200-square-foot space which will first be used for informational and educational programming, networking with fellow tenants and entrepreneurs, participating in on-site mentoring and pitch competitions, and hosting open houses for the community to see how Houston Methodist is shaping patient-centered health care of the future.

Houston Methodist’s presence at the Ion advances its vision to foster more collaboration across industries, joining aerospace, energy, and oil and gas companies already embedded in the innovation hub. Through this partnership, Houston Methodist expands the work of its Center for Innovation and its Technology Hub, which opened in early 2020 to provide a living laboratory environment to experience the latest innovations in patient-centered health care technology, including remote monitoring, ambient intelligence, and virtual reality. The space at the Ion will be a smaller replica, a twin of the original space within the hospital, and will demonstrate how current and future technology work together in the hospital setting.

“We are advancing the evolution of the hospital’s role in health care through digital transformation,” said Michelle Stansbury, VP of Innovation and IT Applications at Houston Methodist. “Having a footprint at the Ion will not only provide the Ion’s network and Houston community with a window into what we are doing for patients, consumers, and providers but also gives the Ion community and rising innovators an opportunity to bring its own ingenuity and ideas to life with ours.”

Partnering with Houston Methodist and welcoming them to the Ion, developed by Rice Management Company on behalf of Rice University, builds on the legacies of two of the state’s leading institutions, said Rice University President Reggie DesRoches.

“Building new relationships and resources can expand digital innovation in health care,” DesRoches said. “Rice is thrilled to play its part, and we celebrate our shared commitment to meaningful community engagement.”

Houston Methodist and Rice University have a history of collaborations, including the Houston Methodist – Rice University Center for Human Performance, a premier center under construction on Rice’s main campus. The space is intended to bring physicians, academic researchers, and university students together to work side by side with student-athletes, trainers, and coaches to advance research and education in human performance. Houston Methodist and Rice University also are collaborating on the Center for Translational Neural Prosthetics and Interfaces to bring together scientists, clinicians, engineers, and surgeons to solve clinical problems with neurorobotics.

Bryson Grover, Investment Manager of Real Estate Development, Rice Management Company, said, “By enhancing opportunities for our network of academics, businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators to collaborate across the Ion District and globally, we’re creating a more resilient future economy for our region.”

About the Ion

Ion: Where ideas go to grow. Located in Ion District, the namesake building is the transformative centerpiece of Houston’s innovation corridor. Designed to bring our city’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities into collaborative spaces and programs, the sunlit structure of steel and glass is a home for advancing diverse knowledge, teams, technologies, and products that propel our world forward. From Fortune 500s seeking flexible office space to first-time startups looking for the funding to design a prototype, the Ion provides wide-reaching space and support to connect every What if with What now?—welcoming individuals and teams of all kinds to a place to build a better way. For more information, visit https://ionhouston.com/.

About Houston Methodist: Houston Methodist is one of the nation’s leading health systems and academic medical centers. The health system consists of eight hospitals: Houston Methodist Hospital, its flagship academic hospital in the Texas Medical Center, six community hospitals, and one long-term acute care hospital throughout the Greater Houston metropolitan area. Houston Methodist also includes a research institute; a comprehensive residency program; international patient services; freestanding comprehensive care, emergency care and imaging centers; and outpatient facilities. Houston Methodist employs more than 27,000 people and had more than 1.6 million outpatient visits and more than 132,000 admissions in 2021. For more information on Houston Methodist, see houstonmethodist.org.