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Others to Watch

June 1, 2006
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The following companies are worth keeping an eye on during the coming year.


Already implemented in more than 200 hospitals in the United States and Europe, Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Carefx's Fusion solution — a “patient information aggregation platform designed specifically for the healthcare provider environment” — is helping clinicians and others to access and navigate information and databases through a unified view, with single sign-on. The automatic linkages of information about individual patients should be appealing to the industry, as more and more disparate clinical information systems and databases go online.


Founded in 2000, Rockville, Md.-based DrFirst describes its flagship product, Rcopia, as a “full-featured stand-alone electronic prescription management system.” The e-prescribing solution is gaining traction in various corners of the industry, including being part of a major Massachusetts health insurer-sponsored e-prescribing initiative. What's more, DrFirst's executives have created partnerships with major vendors such as SureScripts, RxHub, and FirstDataBank. And the company has won numerous awards, including at the TEPR (Towards the Electronic Patient Record) conference and from San Antonio, Texas-based Frost & Sullivan.


Whatever happened to WebMD? Last August, it became Emdeon (while one business unit continues under the name WebMD Health). The Elmwood Park, N.J.-based company now offers a diverse collection of services, from revenue cycle management and electronic transactions to physician practice management to health information services. After a period of corporate turbulence, the company is moving ahead with new services, including one launched in February that will allow patients to review their bills and make electronic payments.

RAM Technologies

Fort Washington, Pa.-based RAM Technologies has garnered interest in the industry for its Java-based HEALTHsuite, a core system healthcare/claims processing administrative system, and eHealthsuite, an Internet-based e-health/EDI application providing online access to a health plan by members, providers, employer groups and brokers. With its ability to support real-time, online claims adjudication, eligibility/benefits inquiry, demographics, authorizations and referrals, the company is increasing its health plan client base and range of technology partnerships.

Revolution Health

The announcement in April 2005 that former America Online Chairman Steve Case was launching a new venture called Revolution Health Group caused quite a bit of interest in the healthcare industry. The new Washington, D.C.-based company is planning to launch a consumer-friendly health portal sometime this year at www.revolutionhealth.com. At press time, the site was not fully live, but executives promise that consumers will be able to use the company's tools to access health news and information, find physicians and schedule appointments, manage their healthcare spending, and find community health resources around their needs.

Silverlink Communications

Burlington, Mass.-based Silverlink Communications certainly has good timing. The company's automated voice solution — aimed at health plans — is being used by big national insurers such as WellPoint, Inc. and Oxford Health Plans to help manage demand for the new Medicare Part D program. “With the introduction of Part D, our traditional methods of communicating benefit changes didn’t seem like enough,” says Marc Russo, regional vice president of Government Programs at Oxford, “so we chose to leverage Silverlink as an additional communication tactic.” Reducing call-center activity and replacing mail communications are the goals at Silverlink. The company's tools can also be used to enhance patient medication compliance, among other goals.

Sensible Vision

Want to put your organization's best face forward on secure authentication? Sensible Vision says it can help. The Covert, Mich.-based company's flagship product, Fast Access, is a program that installs onto Windows workstations and allows users to sit in front of their computers and be automatically logged in using facial recognition through any off-the-shelf Web cam. The company was founded just last year, and is still in start-up mode; but is targeting the healthcare, banking/financial services, legal services, and manufacturing sectors.

Author Information:

Mark Hagland is a contributing writer based in Chicago.

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