A wearable monitor to check patients’ vitals. A device that can lower risk in common surgeries. The innovators behind these platforms competed head-to-head against eight other companies at a pitch-off event at Newark, N.J.-based Agile Strategies Lab earlier this year. 

Think of it like the ABC reality show “Shark Tank,” says Robert Garrett, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, which partnered with the New Jersey Innovation Institute, a wholly owned nonprofit subsidiary of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, to launch Agile Strategies Lab in February. 

Just as investors Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban listen to televised pitches from innovators and entrepreneurs on “Shark Tank,” the lab invited pitches from presenters who are trying to reduce the cost of care and improve the patient experience, in addition to solving other seemingly intractable problems in health care. After an initial pitch-off round, there are four entrepreneurs left standing — all vying for some or all of the $25 million in seed money. 

The stakes for the lab are high, adds Garrett. “Health care providers need to revolutionize care delivery as baby boomers get older. They also need to adapt to the nation’s move toward value-based care.”

At its location on the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s campus in Newark, Agile Strategies Lab will focus on helping to bring to market better devices, improved technology and more efficient services.

Hackensack Meridian Health has committed the $25 million to help launch ideas to the point where they reach viability and generate venture capital funding. Scientists, physicians, statisticians and other experts will work alongside inventors to bring the products and services to market, says Garrett.

He tells AHA Today that the six judges are expected to make their final decisions before the end of the year.