Sramana MItra: The healthcare industry has been the most active in the history of the healthcare IT industry. It’s really moving and active right now. I anticipate that, within the next decade, the healthcare IT penetration is going to be humongous. There’s going to be huge changes.
Tom Hogan: I agree. I have a theory for why it’s going to happen for the next 10 years. Do you have a theory for why it’s finally kicking in?
Sramana Mitra: It got kicked off by the stimulus to begin with. Now the stimulus is actually going to end, but the momentum has already picked up. I think the stimulus is no longer necessary. It’s the same thing—consumerization of IT. The industry is facing a huge consumerization of their customer base so they have to play along and stay in tune.
Tom Hogan: I agree but I would also add that we, as patients, have been frustrated for 20 years. The one difference now is the administrators and the practitioners that are making those decisions are the first generation that has been digitally exposed. The doctors from 40 years ago, when they went to college, had no mobile phones, email, or Internet. They were in their comfort zone with files and papers.
Sramana Mitra: Right and they don’t want to do that anymore. I’ve seen a very interesting trend actually amongs doctors who are angel financing healthcare IT or medical technology companies. It’s an interesting trend because these are people who have money. They make good money so they can finance a company. They understand the value proposition. They can become the first customers and then they can champion the product. I’ve seen several companies that have been angel-financed by customers who are physicians.
Tom Hogan: I’ll give you an equally interesting spin. One is those people financing or even doing those things themselves. We have a great use case. I called to go meet a prospect at New York Presbyterian Hospital. They sent me the briefing document which said that I’m meeting with Dr. Fleischut, who is the Head of Anesthesiology in the hospital. He’s ranked among the 10 most influential doctors on the planet. Just to reinforce your point, this is a guy who grew up in the digital world and had a passion for what could happen in healthcare if it were more proactive and innovative. He’s now the Chief Innovation Officer for the hospital. He spends 10% of his time still doing attending so he doesn’t lose touch with his practice, but he now voluntary spends 90% of his time trying to figure out how to leverage mobile to improve care.
Sramana Mitra: Very interesting. It’s been a real pleasure talking to you. Thank you.