In 2012, the Barrington, Ill.-based GE Healthcare and Microsoft Corp. (Redmond, Wash.) announced the launch of a joint healthcare IT venture, Caradigm, which would focus on developing and marketing a technology platform and collaborative clinical applications focused on enabling better population health management. Combining Microsoft’s capabilities in building platforms with GE Healthcare’s experience in clinical workflow solutions, the new joint venture aimed to help healthcare organizations use real-time, system-wide intelligence to improve healthcare quality and the patient experience.
Five years ago, when Caradigm launched, population health management was an emerging area on the healthcare provider side. Fast forward five years, the need for big data in healthcare IT has fueled explosive growth for population health and data analytics technology solutions, and the population health management market, in particular, is rapidly maturing and evolving.
“The population health market today is crowded with a lot of different vendors and a lot of different solutions,” Mark Allphin, research director, value-based care, at the Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research, says. “Part of the challenge that providers have dealt with the last few years really is around figuring out what piece of the population health pie they want to swallow. When you mention population health to a provider they could be thinking of it in terms of three or four different things. And, with each specific aspect of population health, there is yet another list of vendors, who are willing, able and ready to help. As you look at the market, it has created a big push for many different vendors to enter the space to help meet some of these different needs.”
Five-year-old Caradigm, which is based in Bellevue, Washington, is carving out its own niche within the market with an end-to-end enterprise approach to population health, and with a focus on the hospital and integrated delivery network market. In April 2016, Microsoft sold its 50 percent stake in Caradigm to GE Healthcare, and later that same month, Caradigm named Neal Singh as CEO. Singh, who previously served as the company’s chief technology officer, replaced Michael Simpson, who led Caradigm for four years.
According to Singh, Caradigm maintains a steadfast focus on population health, even as it expands its solutions offerings to meet healthcare providers’ evolving needs. “In fact, I can go back to our first HIMSS, in 2013, when we had our independent booth, and we have not changed our main banner since then—it said population health back then and it says population health now and that continues to be our focus.” Further, Singh says Caradigm’s population health enterprise solution, from its core inception, was designed as a “real-time data analytics platform to provide analytics, care coordination and workflow applications all around a single foundation of a unified platform.”
Singh continues, “What differentiates us from many other players in the industry is, first, what started out in Microsoft as a real-time, scalable data platform, that’s the key to our foundation in terms of being able to get data across multiple entities and organizations, including clinical, claims and financial data, and doing it at scale, and now we’re getting into social data. And then we have an integrated suite of applications that are sitting on top of that platform, a unified set of applications for doing either risk stratification to identify your population of patients at risk, care coordination to manage the patients, quality improvement to measure and manage quality, and then utilization and financial analytics to understand your cost drivers and bring them under control.”
Caradigm’s 200-plus customers include Greenville Health System, Billings Clinic and Virtua, and other large integrated delivery networks (IDNs), accountable care organizations (ACOs), academic medical centers, government facilities and community hospitals. Caradigm solutions are operating in more than 1,500 hospitals worldwide, connect to over 500 customer systems and to data for more than 175 million patients. In addition, its identity and access management solutions are employed daily by over 1.2 million users.
Scaling up Population Health
The population health management vendor market is fast-evolving and very competitive, as the large electronic health record (EHR) vendors are expanding their capabilities for population health and data analytics. As hospitals and health systems move forward into population health initiatives, it’s natural for executive leaders to look at their EHR vendors, KLAS’ Allphin says, largely because of the workflow functionalities.
“Caradigm is an interesting solution as one of the vendors that have come into the market from an EMR-agnostic perspective,” Allphin says. “A lot of these organizations oftentimes are looking for a flexible platform that can work in an environment filled with diversity, where there are all different types of EHRs and EMRs and different systems, and that’s where Caradigm looks very attractive to some of these providers. And, thus far, that’s the market they seem to be serving the best at this moment.”
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