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$100k Investment for Every Rock Health Company

Posted on August 28, 2012 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.

It’s been a busy week for the people at Rock Health. First, they had the Rock Health Boston Demo Day. Yesterday and today they’re doing the Health Innovation Summit in San Francisco. And now Rock Health is announcing that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers alongside longtime supporters Aberdare Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and the Mayo Clinic are upping their investment in Rock Health startup companies from $20k to $100k per company.

This is a good move by Rock Health. Just yesterday I was reading a Ycombinator founder describe how the added investment that each Ycombinator company got relieved some of the pressure that was associated with the program. Basically, he could make good long term decisions as opposed to forcing decisions because the funding and time frame were so short. I’m sure we’ll see that in Rock Health as well.

For those interested in Rock Health, they just opened their 3 week application period for their Fall cohort in San Francisco. I assume that they’ll be going back to the 5 month program again after doing only 3 months in Boston.

It’s worth noting that NYDHA (New York Digital Health Accelerator) offers $300k to health startup companies. I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of competition to get the best healthcare startups to participate in the various health IT accelerator/incubator programs.

Mayo Clinic Social Media Residency, EMR Selection, & EMR License Transfers

Posted on July 8, 2012 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.

While the Twittersphere is flooded with tweets about the #HIT100, I still was able to take a look through all the volume of tweets and find a few good topics that are well worth discussing on this site.

There are some real doozies in this EMR and Health IT Twitter round up. I’d love to hear your thoughts on each of the topics.

Let’s start with this announcement from the Mayo Clinic:

That’s pretty amazing news to consider. I imagine that most doctors won’t like the use of the name “residency” when it comes to this program. It kind of diminishes how much work, effort and learning happens in their residency. In this case I have to agree with those doctors. Use of the word residency for this short “social media residency” is in poor taste. Although, I do like that the Mayo Clinic is placing such value on the use of social media in healthcare.


Amazing counsel!! Read it again and post it on your wall if you’re going through an EHR selection. The other way to deal with this is to not buy until the requested features is implemented. Although, if you go that route, you might be sitting around forever since they may never implement your requested feature.


I’m glad to see Jim Tate tweeting again. I think he was on hiatus for a while. Or maybe I just hadn’t seen him for a while. In the above tweet he links to an article by William O’Toole that does a great job looking at the issues associated with EMR licenses. Well worth a read if you’re purchasing an EHR or if you plan to one day sell or transfer your practice to someone else.

GoHealth Gets $50 Million Investment, mRemedy and Palomar Health Acquired

Posted on June 20, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

FUNDINGS:

A Chicago-based company, GoHealth, created the website GoHealthInsurance.com. This website helps consumers comparison shop for health coverage. With the decision coming soon on Obamacare, GoHealth has been prepping for the large amounts of US adults who will be looking for health insurance if it is passed.

GoHealth has taken a $50 million equity investment from Norwest Equity Partners in case it does pass. In the event that it doesn’t, the equity will be put toward accelerating its growth in the market, where it is already a major player. The company currently has 125 employees, and they hope to be able to hire more.

Consumers can easily enter their information and be given a list of insurance providers that fit their needs. From there, they can sign-up online with the company that fits their needs best or contact agents for any insurance provider that is on the website. GoHealth works with more than 100 insurance carriers and 100,000 licensed agents and has, on average, 1 million customers each month.

ACQUISITIONS:

AirStrip Technologies, a company based in San Antonio, offers a suite of mobile patient monitoring apps. These apps allow physicians to access patient information just about anywhere, which in turn enhances workflow and decision making in clinics AirStrip has recently expanded this suite of mobile apps to give physicians easier access to information in EHRs. Along with this expansion, AirStrip has acquired “exclusive rights to market and develop San Diego-based healthcare system Palomar Health‘s EHR agnostic and mobile-enables MIAA (Medical Information Anytime Anywhere) platform. Mobi Health News said that, “while the companies aren’t calling it an acquisition officially, that is what it is in effect.”

With the acquisition of this platform, physicians will have access to any and all records that are relevant to making a decision about a current patient’s condition. The benefit, and main reasoning, behind doing this is so physicians are able to view information that has been generated by other EHR/EMRs that are different from the one being used in their practice, according to Alan Portela, CEO of AirStrip.

mRemedy, a mHealth app company that was created in 2009 by the Mayo Clinic and DoApp, has recently been acquired by Axial Exchange, a care transitions technology provider. Not all the details concerning this acquisition are available, however, the Mayo Clinic and Canaan Partners have both been major investors, as well as Dr. Paul Y. Takahashi and Dr. Nathan Jacobson, both doctors at the Mayo Clinic.

mRemedy has a variety of custom apps that have been developed for clinics, hospitals, and patients. myTality is mRemedy’s core product and helps patients “better navigate a future hospital visit and helps hospitals market their sevices.” The software offered by Axial Exchange, Axial Patient and Axial Provider, will be the service platform for mRemedy.

Other apps currently available through mRemedy are myWeight, mPressure, and myGlucose. Last year, a hospital in Lexington, KY, became the first hospital to offer these apps to its patients. According to Mobi Health News, “that pivot is what led mRemedy to its buyer this week.”

$12.5 million raised for AssureRx Health, Startups Announced That Will Participate at Rock Health in Boston

Posted on June 11, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

$12.5 million was recently raised in Series C financing by AssureRx Health Inc. AssureRx, a personalized medicine company, is an Ohio-based startup. The company is a personalized medicine company that specializes in pharmacogenomics and helps physicians figure out correct drugs for patients who suffer from neuropsychiatric and other related disorders.

Four Rivers Group, Claremont Creek Ventures, and Sequoia Capital led the financing; other investors that participated were Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, CincyTech, Allos Ventures, jVen Capital, and Alafi Capital. The funds that were raised will go toward increasing commercial activities for GeneSightRx® Psychotropic and GeneSightRx® ADHD, which are AssureRx’s two flagship pharmacogenomic products.

James S. Burns, president and CEO of AssureRx Health, described the company’s main objectives and what is expected to come from this round of funding:

Our goal is to build the leading clinical informatics company providing pharmacogenomic and other treatment decision support products to help physicians individualize the treatment of patients with neuropsychiatric and other disorderds. Proceeds from the Series C financing will be used to expand sales coverage, sponsor multiple clinical studies, and develop new products to help accelerate our leadership position in psychiatric personalized medicine.

Four Rivers, jVen Capital, and Alafi Capital, some of the investors in this Series C financing, bring along with their investments, connections to help build AssureRx Health’s leadership position in psychiatric pharmacogenomics.

New investors Four Rivers, jVen Capital, and Alafi Capital bring to AssureRx Health further expertise and partnering connections to help AssureRx Health continue building its leadership position in psychiatric pharmacogenomics.

In other news, Rock Health, a San Francisco-based digital health incubator, recently announced which six startups will be participating in the kick-off incubator in Boston this summer. Each of the startups participating will present on August 24th at a demo day. The startups that were selected for the Boston class are:

1. HomeTeam Therapy
2. PrescribableApps
3. NeuroTrack Technologies
4. Neumitra
5. NoviMedicine
6. ZeroSum Health

More information about Rock Health in Boston can be found here.

Doctor Describes 15+- Year EMR Integration Project

Posted on May 11, 2012 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.

Wouldn’t it be great if you rolled your EMR and, bam, all of the problems you hoped to solve were solved, just like that?  Sure, but in most cases the technical rollout will do little to solve workflow problems unless you have them analyzed in advance, according to one doctor who’s taken part in a long, slow rollout. Here’s a quick overview of his organization’s progress: see what you think.

Going live is a far cry from having truly adopted an EMR,  and getting to adoption is a very long, drawn-out process, said Dr. Fred M. Kusumoto, who spoke at a recent meeting of the Heart Rhythm Society.

Dr. Kusumoto, who’s with the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville Electrophysiology and Pacing Services, conceded that EMRs can help smooth communication between systems. The thing is, he noted, integrating systems won’t happen over night. After all, the workflow of doing integration is very complex, so much so that years hardly suffice.  His organization began serving as “guinea pig” for its EMR vendor in 1996 and will as of 2013, will have one database using structured data, he said.

So, the million-dollar question is this: Has all of this effort been worthwhile?  Dr. Kusumoto actually didn’t say, if the CMIO article I reviewed is accurate.  Interesting. But he’s clearly learned a great deal, regardless of whether his rollout works out for Mayo. Here’s some of his suggestions on how to improve returns from your maturing EMR:

*  Make sure all stakeholders are involved as the EMR migration, including administrators and IT staffers.

* Bear in mind that EMR rollouts are at their most flexible in the first few years, so don’t miss your chance to get involved early.

* EMR implementations (typically) involve a scanning phase where the institution captures written records and plans for turning the records into structured data. Make sure you leave enough time to do this right.

Moral Obligation and Tweets

Posted on April 24, 2012 I Written By

Priya Ramachandran is a Maryland based freelance writer. In a former life, she wrote software code and managed Sarbanes Oxley related audits for IT departments. She now enjoys writing about healthcare, science and technology.

I must say this headline from Fierce Health IT gave me a great many giggles today: Healthcare social media a ‘moral obligation’. No shred of irony in the article either, which quotes Farris Timimi, M.D., medical director for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, thusly:

“Our patients are there. Our moral obligation is to meet them where they’re at and give them the information they need so they can seek recovery,” Timimi said. “You’ve got to be ready for it. You build it for the patients; not for yourself.

“This is not marketing,” he added. “This is the right thing to do.”

Are you sure it’s not just a way to log in to Facebook while you’re on the clock, Dr. T?

Not to come down too hard on Dr. Timimi, but I can think of plenty of other medical things which are “moral obligations”: saving patient lives, or low cost accessible healthcare for all. Being able to find a condesed tweet about bunions – um, not so much. I mean, healthcare is already quite a messpool to be in without doctors and hospitals flogging themselves over not being social media savvy enough. And not everyone can be a social media rockstar John D Halamka.

I know I’m being wilfully dense tonight. And the esteemed Dr. Timimi probably had stuff like Facebook pages and cancer blogs in mind when he talked about healthcare info via social media. But I scoured Twitter for “medical advice” and “cancer” and found that there’s some accidental giggles to be had:

Tim Brookman ‏ @T_Brookman
Next person that texts me for medical advice is getting told to apply icyhot directly to their genitals

nicole west ‏ @NicNac19
I love when friends come to me & ask medical advice & I actually know the solution… just don’t quote me, lol.

saintseester ‏ @saintseester
will not be giving free medical advice on anonymous social media. You’d be an idiot to take advice like that anyway.

Official Cancer Page ‏ @Cancer69_
#Cancer is big on trust and if you lie to them they will make sure you regret it
(yeah, yeah, I getit.. they’re talking about the sun sign)

Epion Health poised with health literacy Android tablet

Posted on August 19, 2011 I Written By

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC. He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC in 2009. He can be contacted at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.

I was recently introduced to a representative from an interesting company, Epion Health.  Epion is just about to roll out a novel way to take advantage of tablet computers to educate patients while they wait to be seen.  They are planning to use Android tablets to teach patients a variety of medical topics in which they might be interested, an thus promote the area of health literacy.  A captive audience, patients waiting to be seen in a doctor’s office, will be able to choose from a touch screen full of options.  According to their website, 5000 active tablets are estimated to reach a million patients every month.  That’s a pretty impressive number.  Moreover, the source of material is apparently peer reviewed and comes from the Mayo Clinic.

I think this would save me potentially a great amount of time if it were able to educate patients on how to take medications, side effects to watch for, what a particular condition they may have really is and means (in my field, for example, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis).   Although technology like this might automate doctors out of existence one day, for right now it would be a welcome tool for patient education.

By the way, I’m excited to say that I’ve had conversation with a company representative about potentially beta testing a tablet with my own patients once they roll out the first ones, possibly next month.

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC.  He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC, as a solo practice in 2009.  He can be reached at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.

Mayo Clinic Launches PHR Available to Anyone

Posted on May 14, 2009 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.

Here’s the story from the American Medical News:

The Mayo Clinic announced the launch of a new personal health record system that will be available to anyone, including those who are not Mayo patients. Those involved with the project say the system, powered by Microsoft HealthVault, could also carry benefits for non-Mayo physicians.

Is it just me, or is my headline (which is theirs also) really misleading? When I saw the headline I was really interested to see the type of PHR that Mayo Clinic had created. Instead, all they’re doing is adopting Microsoft HealthVault. That’s a big win for Microsoft HealthVault, but that’s been publicly available for a while. I’m not sure why Mayo Clinic joining HealthVault makes it any more available to those outside of Mayo.

The more interesting part of the article is when they talk about Mayo Clinic moving forward despite Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston stopping claims data from being sent to Google Health:

The launch of Mayo’s system came days after Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston announced it would stop sending claims data to patients’ Google Health accounts due to the possibility that the data contain errors. The move reignited the debate over whether PHRs can contain too much data that is not useful to physicians, or dangerous for them to rely on.

Mayo’s system will allow the import of claims data through Health Vault, but Mayo’s physicians will likely not use it, the organization said. Other patients and their physicians can choose whether the information is relevant enough to be kept.

I’d still like to see better support for PHR in various EMR and EHR products. However, until there’s a good standard I don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.