Cincinnati-based digital health company, Hive Networks, announced a multi-year partnership with ImproveCareNow, a collaborative community seeking to improve the health and care of children and youth with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

The partnership represents a first step for Hive Networks, whose goal is to improve the speed at which improvements in treatment and care of chronic illnesses can be developed through shared learning technology. ImproveCareNow will use the Hive Networks platform to add capacity to its Learning Health Network. More than 70,000 children in the United States live with IBD and experience changes in their quality of life.

ImproveCareNow is one of the nation’s most advanced examples of a working community using the Learning Health Network model. Established in 2007, the network is made up of more than 100 IBD care centers in the United States and internationally, that are working together to improve the health, care and cost of children and adolescents with IBD through improvement science, research and innovation. Hive’s software and services enable communities like ICN to form, grow and succeed more easily.

“Our partnership with Hive Networks will help us to improve care and quality of life for children and adolescents suffering from IBD. Hive will enable our community to better cross-pollinate ideas, deliver data more efficiently, and foster improved outcomes for patients,” said ImproveCareNow Executive Director Kristin Howe.

Working communities have already proven effective at driving better outcomes. ImproveCareNow, for example, has seen a 22% increase in remission rates across its population of IBD patients as a result of network collaboration. Howe said such collaboration can supercharge and scale its approach.

Challenges Addressed by the Learning Health Network Model

“Sharing across social, clinical and research networks may sound easy but is difficult to put into practice,” said John Bostick, founder and CEO of Hive Networks. “There are multiple challenges faced by these groups within the health care ecosystem.”

Bostick cited specific issues collaborators may face:

  • Researchers often work in isolation, cut-off from patients and clinicians who deal with a disease in real-world conditions.
  • Clinicians are closest to patients, but do not typically input directly into research even though their contributions could improve and speed solutions.
  • Social media is a leading source of information and networking for families, yet information found there is often misleading. Patients and families want to take an active role in improving care for their loved ones, sharing what they have learned in a more secure environment than a typical social network.

Hive Enhances Learning Health Network Effectiveness

Based on more than a decade of research, Hive is a first-of-its kind technology and the only product that empowers all three stakeholders – patients, clinicians and researchers – to collaborate in a working community that operates under the Learning Health Network model.

The platform leverages social and organizational science, improvement science, and data science to enable equal and complementary collaboration. This non-hierarchical platform enables patients to be active stakeholders, with an opportunity to work with co-collaborators in the movement to own the outcome.

Hive’s proprietary platform is comprised of three integrated products and services that meet the needs of broad Learning Health Networks and large integrated health care providers.

  • A software platform to support peer-to-peer sharing of data, knowledge, and know-how.
  • Consulting to provide end-to-end support as communities form and grow.
  • Connections to major industry research initiatives – a key avenue for development of cures for chronic diseases.

Mike Venerable, Hive Networks Chairman and CEO of CincyTech, a Hive investor, sees rapid growth on the horizon. “Learning Health Networks didn’t even exist 10 years ago, were incubated just five years ago, and today need specialized software and services to spread and scale. Hive is the right platform at the right time,” he said.


ImproveCareNow (ICN) is a Learning Health Network dedicated to transforming care, health and costs for all children and youth with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD) by building a sustainable collaborative chronic care network. ICN is enabling and empowering patients, families, clinicians and researchers to work together in a learning health care system to accelerate innovation, discovery and the application of new knowledge, and transform care and outcomes of children with IBD.

Hive Networks' Mission

“Our vision is to build a future where everyone has the resources, information, and connections to create healthier outcomes,” said Bostick. “We believe Hive Networks can help power working communities to change the world.”

About Hive Networks

Hive Networks facilitates the exchange of knowledge, experience, and expertise to solve problems. The firm helps its clients bring patients, clinicians, and researchers from across the country and around the world together in a working community with a relentless focus to improve lives and outcomes. The firm was founded in 2019 with technology licensed from Cincinnati Children’s and funding provided by a range of public and private investors. Learn more at


Debbie-Ann Campbell
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