Nascent UW Spin-out PatientStream has broad ambitions in the $2.5 trillion health care industry

[Excerpted from Foster Business, Fall 2012]

It began with a problem. A glaring inefficiency of the modern hospital that is as pervasive as it is puzzling. In this age of digitized everything, the status of virtually every patient in virtually every medical department in America is manually tracked by erasable marker on an overcrowded white board. Still.

Ben Andersen (UW MBA 2012) took up the challenge of modernizing the tracking system in the department of surgery at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center. At the time, Andersen was a perceptive young IT guy working on the informatics team at this branch of the UW Medicine Health System

His solution was deceptively simple: an electronic patient tracking and operations management system that drew and displayed information from existing hospital systems on a flat-screen television (or any networked computer). A digital white board.

Fast forward a few years and his solution has become a nascent company called PatientStream with broad ambitions in the $2.5 trillion health care industry.

How Andersen made the jump from developer to entrepreneur is a study in technology commercialization at the University of Washington—of an innovator who is educated, mentored, focus-grouped, funded, challenged and championed by a fabric of experts and entrepreneurial organizations around and affiliated with the UW. Complementary nodes in an ever-expanding network.

C4C’s Angela Loihl, associate director of technology licensing, is working with Andersen to help navigate the options for licensing and starting a company. Loihl connected Anderson with the C4C’s Entrepreneurs in Residence Program, oversaw the negotiation to license Andersen’s software, and also served as advisor, advocate and fan.

Read the full story in the most recent edition of Foster Business magazine, Fall 2012.