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Homegrown Health IT Innovation Takes Center Stage

Posted on November 29, 2012 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

I’ve had the good fortune over the last few months to be involved in the marketing efforts surrounding the Health IT Leadership Summit happening next week at the Fox Theatre in my hometown of Atlanta. A joint effort of the Technology Association of Georgia’s (TAG’s) Health Society, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the annual event does a wonderful job of spotlighting the strides Georgia is making in healthcare IT, both on the provider and vendor sides.

I’m particularly excited to learn more about the four finalists of the Intel Innovation Award, which will be presented to the winner at the summit. I think it’s no coincidence that Solo Health, last year’s winner, has seen a number of newsworthy business developments happen since accepting the award in the Fox’s Egyptian Ballroom last November.

I thought I’d share a brief synopsis of the finalists (courtesy of their respective websites), and then take bets on who will take home bragging rights!

AirWatch (@airwatchMDM)
“AirWatch is the leader in enterprise-grade Mobile Device Management, Mobile Application Management and Mobile Content Management solutions designed to simplify mobility. More than 4,700 customers across the world trust AirWatch to manage their most valuable assets: their mobile devices, including the apps and content on those devices. Our solutions are comprehensive, built on a powerful yet easy to use platform by leaders in the mobile space.”

In a word, it’s all about security in healthcare right now, as iPad minis, iPhone 5s and yes, even a new Blackberry or two make physicians that much more likely to join the BYOD movement. AirWatch is certainly in the game at an opportune time.

CardioMEMS (@cardioMEMS)
“CardioMEMS is a medical device company that has developed and is commercializing a proprietary wireless sensing and communication technology for the human body. Our technology platform is designed to improve the management of severe chronic cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure and aneurysms. Our miniature wireless sensors can be implanted using minimally invasive techniques and transmit cardiac output, blood pressure and heart rate data that are critical to the management of patients. Due to their small size, durability, and lack of wires and batteries, our sensors are designed to be permanently implanted into the cardiovascular system. Using radiofrequency, or RF, energy, our sensors transmit real-time data to an external electronics module, which then communicates this information to the patient’s physician.”

I first came across this company nearly two years ago, when I heard founder Jay Yadav, M.D., speak at a TAG luncheon, and I’ll be eager to see how their technology has evolved since then. From an EMR perspective, I’m especially interested in where the real-time data goes when a physician receives it. Is it fed into an EMR, perhaps? I’m taking a field trip to the CardioMEMS office next week, so hopefully I’ll find out. I’d also like to get their thoughts on the FDA’s move to regulate mobile health apps, which I assume will impact them in some tangential way.

Cooleaf (@cooleafhealth)
“Cooleaf is the easiest way to enroll in classes and programs for your health while earning rewards. Our mission is to harness the power of classes and programs to enhance the well being of the planet. We founded Cooleaf on the following principles:

  • There is no “one size fits all” solution in health and wellness
  • Living a healthy life should be easy
  • If you live a healthy life, you should be rewarded
  • If you live a healthy life and get rewarded, you should own those rewards
  • If you’re guided by experts face-to-face, you’re more likely to achieve your health goals (and enjoy yourself)”

Certainly the most consumer-oriented of the bunch, the Cooleaf website seems like a great way to get employees engaged in wellness initiatives. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few payers start sniffing around as its user base grows, and resource database moves beyond Atlanta-based locales.

Monocle Health (@monoclehealth)
“Monocle Health Data is the only company solely dedicated to providing independent, unbiased healthcare provider ratings and rankings based on both price and quality, for both episodic care and chronic illnesses.

Monocle’s tools – price rankings, quality ratings and analytics-based reporting – are the foundation of true healthcare price and quality transparency.”

As a patient – especially one who is in need of new family physicians – I am especially interested in transparency. How do the doctors in my area stack up against each other when it comes to patient satisfaction, quality and what my hard-earned dollars will get me? As patient engagement efforts continue to take off, so too I think will provider comparison tools such as this.

Only time will tell which of these Atlanta-based companies will win. I’ll follow up in a subsequent post with the victor’s details, and future plans for continuing to change the landscape of healthcare IT.

Esther Dyson Reason for Health IT Investment

Posted on December 19, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

If you do anything in the IT investing world and in particular the health IT investment world, then you’ve no doubt seen the name of Esther Dyson before. She’s a real power in the investing world and one of the smartest people I’ve seen and heard. So, I was intrigued to read this interview with Esther Dyson.

One question that really interested me was this one that speaks to why she’s so interested in health IT.

BI: As a pioneer in the Internet space, why the connection to health?

ED: It’s the most intellectually interesting and financially rewarding. I don’t do this for the money, but I expect it to be profitable. But it’s also fundamentally more interesting and fundamentally more valuable. I’m not sure how to fix education, but I do think I can impact people [by helping them live healthier].

It has been interesting to see how many recent investments she’s made in healthcare. Here’s the list:
Applied Proteomics, Genomera, Habit Labs, HealthEngage, Health Loop, HealthRally, HealthTap, Keas, Medico, Medivo, Omada Health, Organized Wisdom, PatientsLikeMe, Resilient, Tocagen, Mequibrium,, GreenGoose, PatientsKnowBest, and Valkee.

I think Esther is right about healthcare IT investing will be profitable and also will really impact people. For these reasons, I think we’re about to see an explosion in health IT investment in startup companies that we hadn’t seen before.

Group Funds A Health IT “Ecosystem”

Posted on June 13, 2011 I Written By

Katherine Rourke is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

Here’s an interesting effort aimed at enriching the health IT idea pool.  A diverse group of players, ranging from universities and investors to officials with HHS, have come together to create an initiative intended to support health and wellness entrepreneurs.

The venture, StartUp Health, will be run by former Time Warner Chairman and CEO Steve Krein. The initiative will be part of Startup America Partnership, a private sector initiative working to foster U.S. entrepreneurship throughout the U.S.

I must admit I’m not particularly impressed to hear that StartUp Health’s first official efforts will be a series of three roundtables. While discussing challenges and opportunities in developing a roadmap for health and wellness startups, I tend to be more impressed by direct action (such as cutting checks).

On the other hand, maybe I’m being narrow-minded. I am intrigued by the second planned roundtable, dubbed DC to VC, which will be hosted by HHS CTO Todd Park. DC to VC will link senior officials and entrepreneurs. If I can swing attending that one, you can be I’ll be there.

And you can’t beat the roster of technical, creative and financial minds involved, including IT visionary Esther Dyson, Digitas Health Co-founder Linda Holliday, Health 2.0 co-founders Matthew Holt and Indu Subaiya and health technology startup accelerators Rock Health and Blueprint Health.

While the kind of stuff this group will foster might not connect directly with the topic of this blog — e.g. mainstream EMRs and their users — from what I’ve seen health and wellness 2.0 startups are having a big influence on consumer use of health data.

Eventually, as such demand crests, EMR designers will need to consider everything from PHRs to sharing aggregated data to providing patient analytics tools. So it’s wise to keep your eye on such ventures, even if they’re more into touchy-feely consumer technology at present. The time will come when these kind of sites and tools will be just as important to medicine as clinical decision support tools. Mark my words on this one.