Sramana: Let’s talk about your current company, Modernizing Medicine. What were the circumstances of the founding of Modern medicine? What was the genesis?
Daniel Cane: Modernizing Medicine is one of those companies where two people met under the right circumstances; in this case a serial tech entrepreneur meets a visionary doctor. Both of us were incredibly disgruntled with the state of technology in the field of medicine. I was appalled at how little technology was used in healthcare and how poorly the technical implementations were. The basic tenants of technology that permeated other verticals such as banking and education simply missed healthcare. I don’t know why.
When I found healthcare in 2009, I was shocked that basic tenants of healthcare such as cloud computing and touchscreens were missing. Personalization and adaptive learning had not reached healthcare, and the macro benefits of an overarching dataset were not available to healthcare. There were no cloud offerings that normalized trends and helped understand what was going on at the macro level.
Modernizing Medicine was a decision to do something about this problem by introducing disruptive technology. We set out to build a system for clinical documentation in the surgical specialty market. We did not try to do one-size-fits-all. We did not try to develop something for internal medicine or general practice. We decided to build something for a specialist, so we started with dermatology.
We then realize that doctors can’t type; it just does not fit their workflow. Doctors who tried to implement technology found that the performance of input was just wrong and too slow. We decided not to use typing or dictation; instead, we decided to use touch. The diseases and domains we picked were all visual. With dermatology, orthopedics, and other specialties there is a problem somewhere on the skin or body that you can see. Describing the problem could be done with a location.
Ultimately, the premise for Modernizing Medicine was very simple. We set out to build a specialty-specific, adaptive learning, touch-based system on the iPad and have the system be powered via the cloud. The initial thought was that we would save doctors up to two minutes on clinical documentation per patient. We brought a product to market, the value proposition of which was saving doctors’ time. The company took off and we have 2,000 providers now using our iPad application, most of which are in dermatology. Throughout the U.S., 14% of all dermatologists use our iPad application.
Sramana: What do you provide for your iPad application?
Daniel Cane: Other electronic health records (EHRs) will charge tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are also client-server systems. They require a significant commitment from the doctor. Our system is entirely cloud-based. There is nothing you need on premise other than a computer or iPad. We charge $650 a month. You don’t need servers or an IT staff to run our product. We lowered the cost barrier significantly.
Sramana: I assume the churn rate is low because people are getting real value for what they are doing?
Daniel Cane: Exactly. Our churn rate is well below 1%.