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  • Countdown to Health 2.0 2014: Exclusive Interview with ONC Chief Medical Officer Jacob Reider

    JacobMatthew Holt interviewed Jacob Reider, Deputy National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and Chief Medical Officer at the ONC, ahead of his appearance at the 8th Annual Health 2.0 Fall Conference. Jacob will be participating in several panels at Health 2.0, beginning with the Monday main stage panel “Smarter Care Delivery: Amplifying the Patient Voice”. In this interview, Jacob gives an overview of the HITECH program, the question of interoperability, and the broad adoption of technology in health care as an industry.  

    Matthew Holt: So, let’s touch base on a couple of things. You’ve been in ONC some time now. Let’s talk about how the general HITECH program has gone and is going. If you were to get to rate it, the spread of EMRs and the usefulness of them, their usability, how would you say we’re doing so far?

    Jacob Reider: I think we’re doing very well. Some of your readers know I went to college at a place that had no grades. So I’ll give you the narrative score.

    The narrative score is that the program has been very successful achieving the goals that were defined at the outset. So the first iteration of the program, stage one, was all about getting organizations to adopt Health Information Technology, and I think all of the metrics that we’ve seen have validated that the program has been quite successful in accelerating the adoption of Health Information Technology, in both hospitals and practices. That doesn’t mean that we’re finished, but the vast majority of these organizations have now adopted Health Information Technology. Are there additional goals that we’d like to be able to meet? Absolutely, we’d like to see interoperability working better. As you mentioned, we would like the products to be more usable, and therefore, safer.

    We’d like to see patients even more engaged than they currently are, so they have more access to the information in their records. We’d like to solve a problem that we’re starting to see in the industry, which I started to call hyperportalosis, which is that in any given community, there may be many portals that patients are expected to log in to. So we’re trying to think about how those problems can be solved in the next iteration of the HITECH program. Continue reading →

    What would you give up for a virtual doctor visit? Uniting Patient Engagement, Population Health and Electronic Health Records

    GirishWith the fast adoption of smart phones, tablets and wearable devices, the way people communicate, travel, eat and entertain have all been simplified. Why not streamline the way we experience healthcare as well? A study released in May 2014 from MDLive discovered that 82% of young adults 18-34 would prefer consulting with their doctor via a mobile device than show up for an appointment. Twenty seven percent of patients confirmed they’d be willing to give up shopping for a month, skip their next vacation, even refrain from showers for a week—if it meant they would be able to access their doctor via a smart phone! These results, along with the multiple surveys and studies conducted in the past year, confirm that a new way to conduct healthcare services is in high demand.

    The solution to changing up the healthcare system sits at the center of three key advancements: patient engagement, population health and electronic health records (EHRs). At eClinicalWorks, we consider these components of healthcare to be like a three-legged stool where two cannot stand without the other. We recognized this need as an opportunity within the healthcare IT space and created healow in order to provide our customers and their patients with a platform to schedule doctors’ appointments and get immediate access to medical records via an online interface or mobile app. healow empowers doctors and patients by packaging personal health records (PHRs), healthcare tools and appointment scheduling together, making the data readily accessible to patients and their doctors from the palm of their hand.

    In addition to scheduling appointments with physicians in-person, healow also allows the option of virtual visits, frequently referred to as telemedicine. Choosing this option allows you to connect through video with your doctor by clicking on a button at the time of your appointment. You speak with your doctor within the comfort of your own home about non-emergency concerns such as strep throat, rashes and suspicious moles.

    healow is available via the web on all browsers and  on all mobile device operating systems so it’s where you are when you need it. Imagine how easy it would be to pull-up your child’s immunization records at school right when you need them rather than having to call the pediatrician, wait on hold and have them mailed to you. After booking an appointment with a new doctor, you can fill out the survey and health questionnaires ahead of time so you don’t have to arrive 15 minutes early just to fill out paperwork. The technology exists to make patients’ lives easier – it’s time we start taking advantage of these opportunities.

    On the provider side, doctors don’t need to utilize eClinicalWorks’ EHR solutions to use healow- it’s an agnostic platform. Physicians can sign up for healow and share their calendar so patients can request appointments and fill up their schedules. healow validates each patient via phone before allowing them to request their first appointment, giving added peace of mind to physicians.

    Aside from convenience, healow’s capabilities allow patients and doctors to engage with one another on a day-to-daybasis. This is especially important as a study from Kaiser Permanente and the Journal of Telemedicine found that engaged patients are 20% less likely to be admitted to the hospital and 20-57% less likely to be treated for chronic diseases such as diabetes, COPD, heart failure and depression. Your PHR shouldn’t just be the vitals and notes from your yearly visit to the doctor. That’s why patients using healow are able to upload blood pressure and glucose readings, even weight fluctuation, making it possible for patients and physicians to actively track vitals throughout the year. Even better, if you have a FitBit, which healow is fully integrated with, data from your wearable will automatically be uploaded to your PHR and shared with your doctor, if you allow it permission. By giving your physician a better informed idea of your activities throughout the year, it can dramatically improve recommendations and outcomes.

    What’s the value in monitoring this information? When using a tool like Wingscale–an actual scale that monitors patients’ weight and alerts doctors via Bluetooth to any rapid gain or loss—with healow, physicians can know in real-time if patients taking heart medications are gaining or losing weight as this can be a sign the medication is not working properly. With Wingscale, doctors set parameters to flag any abnormal activity so they can reach out to their patients and catch a health emergency before it happens. Enabling doctors to track, consult and diagnose suspicious patient vitals without having to see them physically in the office is just the beginning of the improvements made possible by technology.

    In terms of population health—patient engagement and wellness monitoring make it easier than ever for doctors to track health patterns within a community. As more people upload their health information via mobile apps (such as healow), the more data becomes available for doctors and public health professionals to analyze and determine health status indicators within a region. This could lead to innumerable benefits, including policy implementation for better health, an improved health system and an involved community of patients.

    When eClinicalWorks surveyed doctors last July, the response was clear: 93% of physicians out of the 2,300 surveyed found value in having a mobile health app connected to an EHR. Doctors want to connect with their patients and patients want easy access to their doctors and health information. Now it is only a matter of informing doctors and patients of their options when it comes to choosing mobile solutions for health. While patient engagement, PHR access and population health all work together to improve the healthcare system, it’s technology that brings the patient experience to the next level.

    Girish Navani is the CEO and Co-Founder of eClinicalWorks and will be joining Matthew Holt on stage at the 8th Annual Health 2.0 Fall Conference for the “Smarter Care Delivery: Amplifying the Patient Voice” panel on Monday, September 22nd. 

    Traction: Health 2.0’s Startup Championship Finalists Announced!

    The moment you all have been waiting for, Traction finalists are here! Traction: Health 2.0’s Startup Championship will feature 10 of 2014’s most promising digital health startups. This is not a seed stage tournament. All of these companies have already raised money (in some cases a small A round), are embedded in one or several clients, and are well on their way. They are now looking to scale up and sign bigger clients and/or raise a significant round in the $4-14m range. The competition is to see who the judges think who has the most traction

    Check out the finalists:

    Provider Facing Track

    Tute Genomics allows researchers to analyze & interpret entire human genomes and discover genes and biomarkers faster than current practices.

    SharePractice is a community that lets physicians search for and review medical treatments. Doctors can enter any diagnosis to see how their colleagues around the world rank the best treatments.

    ChatrHealth’s Cascadia is set of iPad-based modules that adapt the checklist functionality used by airline pilots to improve safety in in clinical situations, starting with anesthesia and surgery, and moving to other medical procedures.

    Connexient’s MediNav provides a digital wayfinding and patient communication system for hospitals.

    Frame Health uses big data to predict which patients will be non-compliant using psychology that’s been extensively tested in many non-health settings, and then generates precise instructions for providers on how to improve compliance for each individual patient.

    Consumer Facing Track

    Zest Health sells a care concierge and benefits selection service to employers. Employees get symptom checking, key benefits information,and the ability to book, receive, and pay for care online. Or as they say it’s like Teladoc meets Zocdoc, Mint meets Castlight, & Groupon meets Priceline. All in one.

    Health Recovery Solutions prevents hospital re-admissions by giving patients a tablet with instructions, information, detailed easy to understand treatment plans, and easy communications back to the providers.

    Tiatros’ Healthcare Relationship Management solution connects a patient, their family members and their caregivers–and all of their data, medical records, assessments and appointments. It also enables them to communicate in real time with their doctors and entire medical team.

    Sense.ly is a virtual clinical assistant that inrteracts drectly with chronically ill patients. The interactive, speech driven avatar can quickly assess a patient’s condition and provide caregivers with relevant insights for meaningful follow-up.

    The Medisafe Project is a very intuitive medication reminder system (and a lot more) that helps patients and their families take their pills correctly. It’s had nearly a million organic downloads with no marketing. On the back end it’s a powerful data platform helping create better patient engagement and raise medication adherence.

    Each of the finalists get mentored by an experienced investor, consultant or equity analyst including

    Mentors:

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    And they’ll be judged by our hard nosed set of investors who are ready to poke holes in their business plan, or maybe want to get into their next funding round

    Judges:

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    You can buy your ticket for Traction as an add-on to the health 2.0 conference on Sept 22-24, but a few standalone tickets are being made available but space is limited so get yours today!

    News & Updates

    A group of researchers in Toronto developed an app that measures a patient’s alcohol withdrawal tremors in order to determine whether they are real or fake. To use the app, patients hold a phone in their outstretched hand; the app sets a timer and measures the patient’s tremors; the frequency with which the user’s hand shakes is measured, based on the iPhone’s accelerometer, to determine whether the patient is actually experiencing tremors. What will we be able to do with smartphones next?

    PulsePoint is making headlines this week for being credited with saving the life of a one month-old baby in Spokane, Washington. The app, which was onstage last year at Health 2.0, connects CPR-certified individuals to emergent situations in their areas based on GPS. In Spokane, EMS dispatchers sent out an alert when they were notified that a one-month-old baby went into cardiac arrest at a local store. Just two blocks away, mechanic Jeff Olson’s phone lit up. The volunteer EMT raced down the street to the store, where he performed CPR on the infant, who survived and was cared for at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital.

    Wellframe, a Boston-based company that uses texting to deliver step-by-step instruction for personalized care plans, closed $8.5 million in financing led by DFJ. Wellframe is one of several startups that can be broadly described as texting for health, though Wellframe wraps services around the core messaging, and has several clinical trials on the books to demonstrate validity. Ultimately these types of startups, and Wellframe in particular, are showing how connecting providers to consumers’ lives away from the office can be a powerful driver for behavior change.

    Google’s Calico partnered with biopharmaceutical company Abbvie to research age-related diseases at a cost of up to $1.5 billion. Calico will build an R&D center in the Bay Area and tackle diseases like neurodegeneration and cancer. Looking forward to seeing where this moon shot goes.

    In case you didn’t have enough trackers to keep you busy, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said activity tracker company Basis Science will release a new version of its device sometime this year. Intel acquired Basis Science in March for an undisclosed sum. The Basis Band is super high tech and includes an optical blood flow monitor, a 3-axis accelerometer, a perspiration sensor, plus skin and ambient temperature sensors.

    Sleep monitoring company Beddit closed its latest financing round with Inventure, bringing total funding to$8 Million. Beddit debuted on Indiegogo with a record-breaking campaign, and recently partnered with Misfit Wearables to launch the Misfit Beddit Sleep System. Beddit’s system involves a thin sensor placed under the bed sheet whereas other systems, notably Withings’ Aura, involve bedside units. Health 2.0 office poll says we know we sleep terribly, it’s those coaching tips Beddit offers that we’d need.

    Geneia, a provider of advanced clinical, analytical, and technical solutions for health care, signed a multi-year strategic partnership with Covidien, a global supplier of medical devices, to enter the $21B remote patient monitoring market. Covidien recently acquired Zephyr, a biometric wearable sensor maker, and has provided Geneia with rights to sell the ZephyrLIFE solution to target in-home monitoring of patients with heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses.

    According to a new study by MarketsandMarkets, the global Care Management Solutions Market was valued at $2.8B in 2013, and is poised to grow at a CAGR of 21% to reach $7.3B by 2018. Factors driving this market are the legislative reforms like Affordable Care Act (USA), demand for the improved quality of care, rise in aging population, and incentives for the adoption of HCIT and care management solutions. However, barriers like huge investments, lack of skilled analysts, fragmented end-user market, and security of patient data are restraining the growth of this market.

    Your.MD, a UK and Norwegian mobile health company, released the iOS version of their Your.MD mobile app (previously limited to Android devices only). Your.MD is powered with content from NHS Choices, and brings clinically tested health care analysis and advice to the underserved areas. Your.MD was released in emerging markets in May 2014, and became the highest rated, and most downloaded health and fitness app in 12 countries on the Google Play Store.

    Frost & Sullivan awarded eClinicalWorks with the 2014 North America Frost & Sullivan Award for Enabling Technology Leadership, in recognition of the eClinicalWorks Care Coordination Medical Record, a web-based, cross-functional platform for population health management and coordinated care. eClinicalWorks customers have seen reduction in emergency room visits by 50%, hospital readmissions going down by 22%, short-term complications due to diabetes being lowered by 37%, and hospitalizations due to congestive heart failure decreasing by 22%.

    Key Issues In Health Insurance – The Healthcare Professionals View

    In preparation for the upcoming Health 2.0 conference a colleague at Creation Healthcare suggested this question: “How do healthcare professional (HCP) opinions on health reform differ between the United Kingdom and the United States; each a nation facing complex reorganization of their public health care service?

    Through a series of articles, we have so far been looking at the link between health and politics and some of the opposing drivers in health reform. Here, we will continue by investigating the key issues of health insurance in health reform.

    Health Insurance Issues In Health Reform

    One of the key benefits to a reformed healthcare system is the premise that more people will have access to affordable care. Yet the reality is that health insurers and the insured have to negotiate and agree on a number of issues that can be particular to each individual, or to the population as a whole.

    Lets start with some of the key health insurance issues as mentioned by healthcare professionals (HCPs). Over time, we can see various peeks and troughs relating to issues such as premiums, eligibility, treatment, screening and testing, pre-existing conditions, transparency, or the cost of drugs and treatments (See Figure 1).

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    Figure 1 – Over time, events shape the emphasis of conversation around health insurance issues (Source: Creation Pinpoint® study into health reform in the UK and USA, 1st September 2013 – present )

    Examining each of these topics in more detail can give a sense of the HCP perspective on health insurance issues in health reform: Continue reading →

    Health Blogging: The New Era for Health Information Distribution

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    The new generation of health fanatics are here, and they are going digital. More and more people are accessing online resources for their health related questions, queries and worries. Even the less technologically inclined are being drawn to the online world to find out more about their health. However, this luxury that we have in searching for all kinds of information on the internet comes at a cost. Not to us, but to health companies using adwords to get more exposure. If you have a website and want it to appear at the top of the Google search, you can get there by paying for adwords. This often costs per click and is at a great expense for smaller health websites.

    There can be a solution, and the new hype is health blogging. There are hundreds of bloggers that are fascinated by all things health, and dedicate their blogs to such topics. Here are a few examples that portray the variety of subjects covered by bloggers:

    1. FoodPolitics – a proclaimed author and professor in the department of nutrition, Marion Nestle also manages to keep up an excellent blog on the politics of food nutrition.
    2. MindBodyGreen – a visual and content rich blog that covers all health subjects, including mind health, exercise and green living. The topics are covered by leading professional experts in their field.
    3. Run To The Finish – an inspiring one woman story, Amanda Brooks blogs about personal training, fitness and importantly she shows us she is human by adding her personality to all of her posts.

    Continue reading →

    News & Updates

    Propeller Health raised $14.5 million in Series B financing, led by Safeguard Scientifics with participation from Series A investor The Social+Capital Partnership. Propeller also hired Practice Fusion’s Chris Hogg as its first COO, and he’ll head up the company’s new San Francisco office. Propeller is doing some very cool work with sensors, inhaled medications, and data, but we’re still bummed they ditched the name Asthmapolis.

    CVS Caremark changed its corporate name to CVS Health. The company says the move reflects its broader health care commitment, which is something we’ve seen over the past year as CVS dumped tobacco products, began work with Epic to bring EHRs to its MinuteClinics, and announced new clinical affiliations. Walgreens and Walmart have made similar expansions into health as multiple retailers jockey to be the consumer one stop shop for health.

    Whill, a designer of personal mobility products based in San Francisco and Japan, raised an $11 million Series A round. Whill created a high-performance alternative to a wheelchair with omnidirectional capacity and four-wheel-drive. Whill isn’t a traditional “Health 2.0” company, but we can imagine exciting possibilities in the future with the rise of robotics and the Internet of things.

    Xerox built software algorithms that analyze the skin on the face for subtle color changes that could indicate irregular blood flow caused by atrial fibrillation. This means that doctors could monitor the most common type of arrhythmia using a basic webcam. A small pilot study confirmed proof of concept, and researchers are now conducting larger studies. One step closer to the tricorder, we say.

    Axial Healthcare raised $1.75 million in a round led by BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners and Sandbox Industries. The names are similar and we had to check twice, but Axial Healthcare is not to be confused with Mayo Clinic spinoff Axial Exchange. Axial Healthcare is focused on improving care during episodes of pain.

    Avoid drunk driving, alcohol poisoning, etc., by keeping a track of how much you are drinking with SLBLUE, a handheld breathalyzer from SOBERLINK. Equipped with a professional-grade fuel cell for accurate alcohol measurement, it uses Bluetooth to pair with an iPhone or iPad to send test results from anywhere in the world. It is supported by SOBERLINK’s cloud based Monitoring Site, which includes Adaptive Facial Recognition, real-time alerts, automated reporting, and robust tamper detection. A strong contender to this space is AlcoChange, launched from the Health 2.0 India stage earlier this year.

    HerStory is a smartphone app where women can share health advice and stories with each other. Users communicate via audio recordings, which has been proven to be more effective that text in building a personal and compelling therapeutic connection. The app focuses on acute and chronic illnesses, allowing users to hear personal tips from people who have gone through the challenges they are facing as well as share their own journey. It is a product of 22otters, funded by Khosla Ventures.

    iMedX, a health information solutions company, has added nearly $50M in acquisition revenue over the past 12 months as a result of eight deals, including five in 2014. iMedX provides solutions for medical documentation, high-value medical coding services, and data analytics solutions. iMedX raised $4M in Dec 2013, bringing its total funding to $22.3M.

    According to a new study by MarketResearchReports.biz, the European wearable technology market is set to grow at a CAGR of 42.1% during 2014 2019. The products reviewed are smart clothing and smart sport glasses, activity monitors, sleep sensors, smart watches, heads-up displays, smart glasses, continuous glucose monitor, drug delivery, monitors, wearable patches, hand worn terminals, and augmented reality headsets among others.

    PRICE INCREASE TODAY 9/2: Health 2.0 8th Annual Fall Conference

    Hope you had a fantastic Labor Day weekend! Now that you’re back don’t forget the 8th Annual Fall Conference PRICE INCREASE is TODAY, Sept. 2! Join over 2,200 attendees as we showcase over 200 LIVE demos, innovative solutions and thought leadership on over 50 panels, with 150+ speakers over the course of four days on Sept. 21-24 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

    Highlights of speakers and sessions include:

    • Keynotes from Dr. Eric Topol (Scripps Health),Patrick Soon-Shiong (NantHealth), Indu Subaiya(Health 2.0), Matthew Holt (Health 2.0), Bernard J. Tyson (Kaiser Permanente)
    • Health Care Data Analytics will show how genomics, non-invasive diagnosis tools, and integrated data collections are uncovering new discoveries, promoting personalized medicine, and new care protocols.
    • Consumer Tech and Wearables: Powering Healthy Lifestyles showcasing the NEW Health 2.0 Wearable Tech Runway with new solutions from companies such as Adidas, OM Signal,WalgreensWithingsWebMDSamsungElectronics, Qualcomm Life, and many more!
    • New Landscapes for Digital Diagnosis showcases tools for providers and consumers, while demonstrating new ways in which both communities are reaching the proper diagnosis.

    New Conference features:

    • Traction: Brings together series A ready companies center stage as they vie to get the nod as the most fundable startup from venture capitalists and corporate investors. Notable judges and mentors include 
    • Pharma & Hospital Roundtables: During these invite-only sessions, participants will discuss how their institutions create and utilize cutting-edge technologies to tackle complex health care issues ranging from care coordination to data exchange and how digital health is changing the pharmaceutical landscape from the earliest phases of research to clinical trials to the way consumers interact with their products in the real world. Email Kim Krueger (kimk@health2con.com) for more info.
    • Bootstrapped BootcampHave less than $2M in total funding? This year’s exhibition hall includes premier space for companies with less than $2 Million in funding to get traction and visibility in front an audience of over 2,200 health care professionals, thought-leaders, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs. Reserve your space to demo your technology LIVE in our exhibit hall and enjoy a pass to the conference. 

    including many more new panels, sessions, and speakers found on the agenda online!

    Limited Start-up rate applications are available - submit yours today. Really tight on budget or a student? Apply to volunteer.

    News & Updates

    Bayer started a health care accelerator for Europe-based companies, selecting five companies from 70 applicants. The program offers 3.5-months of mentoring, free office space in Berlin, and around $65,000 financial support, taking up to 10 percent equity in return. Bayer has been active in digital health starting Grants4Apps as a crowdsourcing initiative, which we helped market, and partnering with Healthbox London last year.

    Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi are using IBM Watson’s computer brain/big data cruncher to support research and development. Watson will help identify new uses for existing drugs and leaf through scientific papers that detail clinical trial outcomes in an attempt to visually uncover patterns and pinpoint connections in related data. Researchers the world over are holding their breath – equal parts excited for the potential and relieved for having someone else to dredge through abstracts.

    Medical and engineering researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle developed a smartphone app, called BiliCam, that they claim can diagnose jaundice in newborns via a smartphone’s camera. Digital diagnosis continues to creep beyond clinic walls, and this app in particular is one we may want to test out with a brand new Health 2.0-er joining the team last week!

    Apple won’t sell your health data. The company updated its privacy policy to prohibit companies whose apps connect to its HealthKit platform from selling user data to marketing firms. The change comes just ahead of the expected announcement of new health-related iOS 8 capabilities. As you might imagine, health data privacy advocates are fairly excited about this move.

    The University of California San Francisco built CareWeb, a secure new clinical communications and collaboration platform. The platform gives doctors and other caregivers a social networking-like space where they can keep track of a patient’s care in the hospital. There are quite a few tools for this type of communicating and coordinating already available, but sometimes a homegrown solution is the key to getting providers on board.

    Flagler, a Florida based acute care hospital will implement M*Modal Fluency Direct, Fluency for Transcription, and Fluency for Imaging software as part of its health IT infrastructure. It is interesting to note that M*Modal filed (and was approved for) voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code earlier this year. Under new terms, the company reduced its debt by 55%, and is projected to earn $57M before taxes and other items this year and $71M a year by 2017, according to court papers.

    MedDiary, a mobile health software company, launched a cloud-based mobile health software-as-a-service platform that enables health care providers to create a custom mobile health app for their patients and monitor them remotely. With a $35 monthly in-app subscription fee, patients get access to a concierge level service in seven different health management modules– food & nutrition, symptoms, medications, self-measurements, physical activity, sleep, and bowel movements. MedDiary also compensates providers with a $15 monthly services fee for coordinating the patient’s care.

    eClinicalWorks, a provider of ambulatory health care IT solutions, was selected by the Department of Homeland Security, to implement eClinicalWorks’ cloud-based electronic health records system to help manage care at all 23 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities. Standardizing the EHR system will allow the department to create a complete longitudinal record and share data between said facilities. The system also permits providers to utilize chronic and preventative care measures like intake screening process flows, electronic medication administration, and infirmary management.

    Inspired by the success of Healthvault, Microsoft is teaming with TracFone Wireless to bring the benefits of smartphone technology to underserved and high-risk populations. The two companies will work with Health Choice Network, a nationwide network of community health centers, to conduct a pilot project targeting diabetes patients to help them better manage their care. Patients participating in the HCN pilot will receive a Windows Phone with TracFone’s prepaid services, along with access to a variety of apps, and other mobile devices connected to HealthVault.

    Embracing Innovation Through Crowdsourcing

    One year ago, we announced the winners of Allscripts’ Open App Challenge. In keeping with anniversary tradition, we’re going to do a bit of reminiscing, starting from the beginning.

    Health Tech is a Team Sport

    In 2012, Allscripts announced a new innovation initiative to integrate new features into their EHR. More specifically, they wanted innovation that would focus on the high cost of chronic illnesses and value-based imperatives. To accelerate development, Allscripts began to look to outside developers. Their first attempts led them to deal with companies one at a time, which they found to unproductive for yielding the quantity and quality of novel features that they were hoping for.

    In an interview with Health 2.0, Stanley Crane (Allscripts’ Chief Innovation Officer) likened the decision to open their API to a broad audience of developers to Ford Motors sourcing the components of their automobiles. “Imagine if Ford motor company said, ‘We’re so worried about the quality of our cars that we’re going to build everything ourselves’”. Ford building every part of their car would be ridiculous. Instead, Stanley intends to make Allscripts an expert in sourcing the best around the world instead of vertical integration (doing everything themselves).Stanley would rather have Allscripts work with others, and bring something awesome to the market together and continued by saying “Health Tech cannot progress faster, until we start playing this as a team sport.”

    With this mindset, Allscripts found that the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge Program was a perfect fit for their needs. Crowdsourcing ideas like this let Allscripts sample tons of ideas and features all at once! In addition, the Developer Challenge team helped build and facilitate relationships between Allscripts and all of those innovators.

    Sourcing technology to improve delivery

    The challenge ran from October – August, drawing over 100 entries for Phase I and II.

    First place for the challenge went to RefillWizard by HealthFinch. RefillWizard can automate prescription renewal, based on the individual protocol needs of its users. Doctors spend anywhere from 30 min to 1 hour per day refilling medication. Can you Imagine how much time this solution saves? You don’t have to. The numbers are in. RefillWizard reduces refill processing time per request to only 32 seconds. That reduces the time spent by doctors on this task by around 50%. Those are precious minutes that doctors can now allocate toward providing care, instead of clicking on forms.

    HealthFinch and Allscripts have maintained their relationship since the challenge. You can see RefillWizard on Allscripts’ app store right now! In an interview with us, Jonathan Baron (HealthFinch CEO) described his post-win experience as a “whirlwind”, citing visibility as the most important part of the whole experience. That’s saying something, considering winning also came with a prize of $250,000.

    How did the challenge affect Allscripts?

    The Open App challenge had some great takeaways for Allscripts. For starters, they were able to vastly increase their developer base and improve their own developer program. This in turn, allows Allscripts to better serve their doctors, and thus improves quality of care for patients being delivered by technology.

    Today, Allscripts has over 50 apps in its app store and is the #2 supplier in the healthcare information tech market. Allscripts has embraced its new identity as an aggregator of amazing ideas, and its open development program, and still maintains a good relationship with companies from the challenge by inviting them to the annual Allscripts Client Experience conference. The Health 2.0 Developer Challenge program helped them build up the marketplace that supplements Allscripts third party developer products. This enables them to constantly improve their existing products with new and simple ideas. Allscripts continues to be a leader for innovation and open development and is sponsoring this year’s annual Health 2.0 San Francisco code-a-thon on September 20-21st.

     

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