Innovation and Incubators: Verizon’s Approach to Health Care

Verizon has both physical and virtual centers created to incubate innovation in the health care space. It's worth billions to the company.

Feb 7, 2014 at 2:35PM

Most of us think of Verizon (NYSE:VZ) in terms of its telecom business, but this global giant also has a large health care branch, including a Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Peter Tippett.

Verizon had a large presence at the recent mHealth Summit near Washington, D.C. -- a large show which sits squarely at the intersection of mobile technology and health care. The Fool's Max Macaluso and Rex Moore attended the fifth annual Summit to learn where mobile health is today, and what lies ahead. While there, they chatted with Nancy Green, the Managing Principal of Verizon's Healthcare Practice, to learn more about the company's multi-billion dollar health segment.

In this video, Nancy explains how Verizon fosters ideas through three innovation centers and a virtual incubator.

A full transcript follows the video.

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Max Macaluso: You mentioned that Verizon has an innovation unit. I recently spoke with an innovation consultant who said that culture is really where innovation starts. Can you talk a little bit about the culture of that unit, and how you try to foster innovation?

Nancy Green: We have three Innovation Centers. They're buildings where innovation centralizes. We have one in Waltham, one near Boston, and we have one in San Francisco. Then we have another incubator. The incubator is a virtual environment, and that's where we incubate ideas.

The innovation centers on either coast are built for our partners to come -- no charge -- to look at and work with us and the experts and the engineers in the field to say, "What's the best way to do that?" It's both devices and software; both ways.

Then the incubator is really about, "I think that's a great idea. Can we get it done quickly? Does it work? -- And if it doesn't, stop. Let's go on." The incubator world, as you can imagine, within Verizon is a very different kind of environment.

Macaluso: For the incubator, do you take Verizon employees, or is it open to entrepreneurs throughout the world?

Green: The incubator is Verizon employees, and Dr. Tippett runs the incubator.

Macaluso: That's actually very unique, right?

Green: It is very unique, and we work very specifically with lots of people who can help us do that. We're not an island, in that we don't look at anything else. There are lots of partners and people that the team works with, but it's run by and operated by Verizon.

Max Macaluso, Ph.D. has no position in any stocks mentioned. Rex Moore has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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