A technology company focused on application development and integration, InterSystems is deeply rooted in solving healthcare's technology problems. Prior to founding InterSystems in 1978, CEO Phillip (Terry) Ragon co-founded the software company that became IDX, now part of GE Healthcare. Today, healthcare accounts for about 80 percent of InterSystems' business, says Paul Grabscheid, vice president of strategic planning for the privately owned company, which has no outside investors and no debt.
InterSystems is perhaps best known for its post-relational database Caché, which is at the heart of a number of healthcare IT systems including the Department of Veterans Affairs' VistA information system. The introduction of the Ensemble universal integration platform late in 2003 positioned InterSystems for higher visibility and expanded its opportunities, one of which is more direct contact with healthcare organizations. The product also moved the company into the vortex of regional health information organizations (RHIOs) and other health information exchanges, as well as into the space between physicians and hospitals where interoperability demands are high.
To support the unique needs of these large networks charged with securely exchanging protected health information, InterSystems has introduced a special edition of Ensemble specifically for RHIOs, which addresses data exchange standards, record service locator software, and consent management. Even so, "You can't create a finished, out-of-the-box product for RHIOs, you still need a systems integrator to implement," Grabscheid warns.
InterSystems has offices in 20 countries, including China, India and Brazil, where large numbers of hospitals are being built. Although most business is domestic, accounting for 70 percent, Grabscheid foresees market growth primarily in initiatives beyond U.S. borders. The shift is already showing as the company attributed 80 percent to domestic operations in 2004.
European operations accounted for about 23 percent, he says, and hold the 2005 company point-of-pride — selection of its Ensemble integration platform in the Netherlands' project for its national electronic health record foundation.