Dartmouth Innovation Accelerator for Digital Health Kicks Off With Two-Day Workshop

The Accelerator, a partnership between the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health and The Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship, will help researchers bring their technology to market.


Karen L. Fortuna, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Geisel School of Medicine, knows that too often, scientific innovations don’t reach the people that could benefit from them the most.

“Science has an implementation problem—we know it takes 17 years for research  interventions to reach clinical practice, with only about 10% of them actually get disseminated into the real world,” Fortuna says.

With that in mind, Fortuna enrolled in the first cohort of The Dartmouth Innovation Accelerator for Digital Health (DIADH). DIADH launched programming earlier this month with a two-day intensive workshop designed to introduce research teams to the tenants of entrepreneurship in the digital health and therapeutics industry.

Teams left the workshop with greater clarity of the problem they are seeking to address, the relevant market opportunity, the resources needed for success and their strategy to create competitive advantage, as well as increased enthusiasm to move their innovation forward, says Lisa A. Marsch, Ph.D., director of the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health (CTBH) and co-leader of DIADH.

“Our teams came a long, long way from having a loosely defined idea to being able to present a very professional pitch,” says Henrik Scheel, Founder and CEO at Startup Experience, an entrepreneurial training organization that will provide the curriculum for DIADH.

For Fortuna, who is working on AI technology that could identify dementia before patients begin to notice symptoms, the weekend provided much-needed confirmation that she can approach business with the same empiricism and integrity that she approaches her science.

“I very much learned this was possible,” she says. “In doing so, we can scale evidence-based products to the real-world; rather than having them just sit on a shelf somewhere and collect dust.”

Continue reading about the workshop and upcoming programming for DIADH here