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Massachusetts General Hospital Lab Joins Statewide Digital Health Sandbox Network

Sep 11, 2021 | News

MGH’s Medical Device Plug-and-Play Interoperability & Cybersecurity Program is the latest addition to a growing network

WESTBOROUGH – The Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) at MassTech has added the Medical Device Plug-and-Play Interoperability & Cybersecurity Program (MD PnP) at Massachusetts General Hospital as the next sandbox in its growing Digital Health Sandbox Network. The program boosts digital health across the Commonwealth by connecting companies to a network of innovative test beds that bolster their research and development lifecycle.

MGH and the Plug-and-Play lab have driven innovations across healthcare, including in ways to help address the pandemic, but also in everyday challenges faced by doctors and nurses.

Based in Cambridge, the MD PnP sandbox environment provides medical device and system engineering services to support innovation, prototyping, piloting, certification, and security assurance for digital health technologies and products. Founded in 2004 and backed by $25 million of research funding from government grants, MGH’s sandbox environment consists of a sophisticated, configurable network infrastructure, a comprehensive array of medical devices, patient simulators, and a rich repository of tools.

“The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted why medical innovation is so critical to protecting patients, medical staff, and other healthcare workers,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “MGH and the Plug-and-Play lab have driven innovations across healthcare, including in ways to help address the pandemic, but also in everyday challenges faced by doctors and nurses. For Massachusetts digital health startups, the PnP lab and the other R&D sandboxes offer true partnerships for participating companies and for the opportunity to accelerate their growth.”

“As a nationally recognized research and development leader in the areas of digital health, medical devices, and cybersecurity, the MD PnP Program is a strong addition to the Digital Health Sandbox Network,” said Laurance Stuntz, MeHI’s Director. “As we continue to build out the network, we look forward to all the exciting digital health solutions it will test and validate.”

In April 2019, Governor Charlie Baker announced the Sandbox program with an award of $500,000 administered by MeHI to support digital health companies in their product development and expand the potential user base for sandbox environments. He also announced the first Sandbox site, PracticePoint at WPI. The following November, the Sandbox program established four additional Sandbox sites in Boston, Cambridge, and Springfield, along with grants to support the first two startups. In June 2020, the Sandbox program saw the addition of four healthcare R&D hubs and an award of $155,000 in grants to allow three Massachusetts digital health companies to access the network.

With the addition of the MD PnP Program, the Sandbox Network has grown to include nine cutting-edge facilities located around the state.

Dr. Julian Goldman, Founder and Director of the MD PnP Program, said, “The MD PnP Program is excited to join this important initiative to support digital health in Massachusetts. Our state-of-the-art lab and exceptional team are available to support research, development, testing, and validation of innovative technologies. Our presence at Massachusetts General Hospital enables us to provide access to simulated hospital environments and a world-class research focused hospital. We look forward to working with the Commonwealth and its innovators to move healthcare forward.”

Massachusetts startups interested in working with the MD PnP Program or one of the other Sandboxes can apply for MeHI’s grant funding here.

R&D centers seeking to become a Digital Health Sandbox can visit this page on

About the Massachusetts eHealth Institute:

The Massachusetts eHealth Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, is the Commonwealth’s entity for healthcare innovation, technology, and competitiveness, and partners with industry, government, and healthcare organizations to support the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative on behalf of Governor Charlie Baker. MeHI also helps all the Commonwealth’s providers harness the benefits of electronic health records and the Mass HIway, the statewide health information exchange.

For more information:

Please visit and follow @MassEHealth. Learn more about the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative at

Media Contact:

Brian Noyes,

Center for Innovation in Digital HealthCare

Founded in 2018, CIDH serves as a catalyst to promote the entrepreneurial and research-minded digital health ecosystem at Massachusetts General Hospital. It provides operational and advisory support to internal innovators and outside industries seeking to collaborate on digital health initiatives.