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Are Healthcare Orgs Dumping Today’s Interoperability Tech?

Posted on December 8, 2016 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

Recently, I took a survey on interoperability issues sponsored by a health IT organization. And one of their questions seemed so interesting — to me at least — that I thought I’d share it with you.

As part of the survey, the HIT group asked how healthcare organizations planned to split their future investments in interoperability, on a scale ranging from 20% technology/80% services to 100% technology. (In the “services” category, they were looking for investments which would transform core technologies to achieve higher value interoperability goals, such as improved clinical workflow integration or significant practice outcomes.)

As I see it, this was not only a good but a provocative question as well. On the surface, I admit, it sounds like a routine query, which attempts to get a feel for what resources healthcare groups may already have invested in interoperability and how they plan to support those investments. Looked at that way, it was a fairly routine inquiry as such surveys go.

But I believe that there’s another way to look at this question, and I bet the authors did too. To my mind, the question is really evaluating whether respondents think current interoperability technology will ever meet their needs, and how far along they are in making that decision. In other words, answering this question says a lot about the strategy and vision for the future, not just how you plan to keep the infrastructure running.

How does this work? To choose one obvious example, organizations that expect to spend 100% of their future interoperability budget on new technology obviously aren’t fans of the technologies available today. That suggests, to me, that they’ve also lost patience to a greater or lesser degree with other current interoperability approaches like FHIR or the use of HIE technology. They probably doubt their current EHR vendor will ever play ball either.

Meanwhile, organizations that expect to spend 80% of the future interoperability budget on related services may be making the opposite statement. Either they are satisfied that the technology they’ve got is at least performing adequately, can be enhanced to perform adequately or can be repurposed if the right services are put in place. The difference between the two may be as simple as whether they’re in a strong partnership with the right vendor, or a difference in philosophy, but either way this group is hunkered down.

As for those in the middle, who expect to vote 40% to 80% of their budget to new technology, it’s harder to read where they’re headed. But assuming the health IT organization repeats the survey in future years, it will be interesting to how the organizations in the middle progress. My guess is that over the next few years, surveys like these will tell us pretty definitively whether current approaches to interoperability can survive.

Google Health Creator Raises $6.5 Million for Healthy Lifestyle Game, Keas

Posted on December 27, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com 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 InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Techcrunch recently did an interview with Adam Bosworth who is likely best known as one of the creators of Google Health (yes, Google Health is gone now). The video interview has some interesting tidbits about Google Health and why Adam Bosworth thinks it failed. I think it’s interesting to see what else is happening in the health IT investment market. Adam Bosworth makes some interesting points about ways to add gaming to healthcare.

In this case, Keas, a Healthy Lifestyle Game company has raised another $6.5 million from Atlas Venture and Ignition Partners bringing the total investment to $16.5 million. That’s a HUGE bet on healthcare IT. Although, I guess you could classify this as a gaming investment as opposed to a mobile health investment.

The interesting thing is that the Techcrunch article highlights the corporate use case for this type of mobile platform. I wonder if the majority of the projections are more of the corporate health revenue model or more of the consumer health. Either way, I’ll be interested to know what $16.5 million of investment can do in this area. The problem is that at that funding level they can’t just build a cool app. They have to do a lot more than that to be successful and exit in a reasonable matter. This will be fun to watch.

Esther Dyson Reason for Health IT Investment

Posted on December 19, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com 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 InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. 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, VitaPortal.ru, 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.

$11.5 Million for Health Questions Site – HealthTap

Posted on December 6, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com 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 InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Another day and another funding announcement for a healthcare company. The company of the day is HealthTap which just announced a $11.5 million series A round of funding from some big name venture capital companies. I think the headline on the HealthTap website describes their company really well:

Answers from 6,000 U.S. licensed physicians
No waiting room

I know there are a lot of people that want to get answers from a physician, but don’t want to have to go to the office. There’s little doubt that patients are going to want a service like this. I know I’d prefer to be seen electronically too. I hate the idea of having to go into the office.

My only question for HealthTap is how well they’re going to do at getting the physicians on board to answer the health questions. I’m sure that many doctors will be worried to participate since they don’t trust the online world and are probably really afraid of any real or perceived liability of practicing medicine online

Plus, it seems like the answers to the questions are free for members of the site. So, I’m not quite sure who is going to end up paying for the service.

The good thing for HealthTap is they now have $11.5 million to figure out the answers to those questions.

HIMSS Health IT Venture Fair – HIT Investment

Posted on February 13, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com 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 InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I just came upon a really interesting part of HIMSS 2010 called the HIMSS IT Venture Fair. Many readers probably don’t realize my interest in Venture Capital, entrepreneurship and investing in general. Especially when it comes to technology investments. So, as you can imagine, this part of HIMSS really interests me. I hope that my HIMSS media credentials can get me in to this. Has anyone been to this before?

We’re about to enter an unprecedented time for investment in healthcare IT. There’s going to be a lot of investment, a lot of consolidation and I expect some really interesting new EMR companies who enter the market that we’ve never heard of before. Chilmark research listed 17 HIT acquisitions in the “white hot market for Healthcare IT.” Yet, this is just the very beginning of what we’re going to see.