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Who are the Up and Coming HIT Companies of 2012?

June 21, 2012
by David Raths
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Profiles of five emerging healthcare IT vendors worth keeping an eye on
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It’s always interesting to see new companies pop up on the HCI 100 list, but it’s even more fun to speculate about which companies will make the list two or three years from now. Healthcare Informatics interviewed the CEOs of five promising companies to keep an eye on.

Companies that offer the most elegant, streamlined solutions involving mobile devices and care coordination are bound to be in high demand in the coming years. One to keep an eye on is San Diego-based PatientSafe Solutions, which has built a mobile care “orchestration” system around a ruggedized Apple iPod.

The company, which started a decade ago as Intellidot, and focused on handheld bar-coding systems, changed its name in 2009 to PatientSafe, and with a $30 million infusion from investors re-launched in January 2011 with the new focus. (The company was named one of the Wall Street Journal’s Top 50 Venture-Backed Companies in 2011.)

President and CEO Joseph Condurso joined the company in 2011 after more than 25 years in health IT, including stints at Motorola Inc. and CareFusion Corp. “What attracted me to PatientSafe was the disruptive opportunity to create a mobile healthcare IT platform that truly is patient-centered,” he says. “It can put the technology in the hands of clinicians and provide real-time clinical decision support.” He was also intrigued by the possibility to leverage Apple’s elegant consumer user experience in the clinical IT space.

Joseph Condurso

The company’s PatientTouch system and electronic mobile medical appliance (eMMA) can work with any core EHR system and send data bi-directionally. The iPod solution is engineered and ruggedized for hospital use and features a scanner to read barcodes for patient association and verification. Communications are via a hospital’s secure wireless network.

“We think we are working on a brand new category called mobile care orchestration,” Corduso says, that includes workflow, clinical decision support, care coordination, and communication. “We can help create a social network inside the firewall, so nurses aren’t hunting for data. The whole care team sees all the information surrounding a particular patient concurrently.”

Among other things, PatientTouch allows users to access real-time information, view and manage a care plan, handle patient assignments and manage alerts and notifications.

The 100-employee company has 70 healthcare facilities lined up as customers, 63 of which are up and running now. It sells directly to hospital organizations, targeting chief nursing executives and quality and patient safety officials. As meaningful use and accountable care models emerge, PatientSafe will continue to fine-tune its technology that supports caregiver communication and real-time access to clinical data, Corduso says.

“The next step is to follow the patient outside the walls of the hospital and in transitions of care for things like, ‘medication management,’ he says. The patient has to be at the center of care.”

Healthcare organizations of all stripes are moving beyond business intelligence based on claims data. They are starting to access and mine the clinical data necessary for performance improvement. One company that may have found the sweet spot of clinical informatics platform innovation is Humedica. Founded in 2008, the Boston-based company has grown to 80 employees and expects to reach 125 by the end of the year.

Humedica’s software-as-a-service analytics platform assembles, standardizes, and analyzes EHR data as well as operational and financial data. “We felt the time was right for the disruption needed to get the clinical data that organizations need,” says Michael Weintraub, Humedica’s president and CEO. “The plumbing and piping of EHRs is now getting into place. But their DNA is transactional, not analytics. Accountable care organizations, population health organizations and multispecialty groups all have to get their arms around their manufacturing processes and take a longitudinal view, and it has to be data-driven.”

Some of Humedica’s growth is based on its partnership with Anceta, a subsidiary of the American Medical Group Association that facilitates shared learning around Humedica’s comparative data. Multispecialty groups are looking across disease and therapeutic areas to understand their data and get better together, Weintraub says. “We now have two dozen organizations involved. Anceta is the trusted intermediary and we are the informatics platform.”

So as large medical groups join Anceta, they automatically begin using Humedica tools. For instance, 150-physician Holston Medical Group in Kingsport, Tenn., recently announced it would work with Anceta and Humedica’s MinedShare clinical intelligence solution.

Another milestone in 2011 was a partnership formed with Allscripts, which is now both an investor in the company and a sales channel, Weintraub says. “They have a large footprint and saw the opportunity to be a horizontal solution provider in the clinical informatics space,” he adds.

Humedica now works with provider organizations in 30 states that are responsible for more than 20 million patients, Weintraub says, adding: “We are investing in scaling up to take the company to the next level.”