Continuing our coverage of entrepreneurship far away from Silicon Valley, we bring you a conversation with Mike Carter, CEO of eGroup in Charleston, South Carolina. Typically, these environments have bred bootstrapped companies, and bootstrapping using services continues to be a popular method. Of late, incubators and accelerators are also cropping up, and building a more sophisticated ecosystem.
Sramana Mitra: Mike, let’s start with the beginning of your story. Where are you from? Where were you born and raised? What kind of circumstances leads up to the entrepreneurial story? >>>
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, healthcare spending in the US is projected to be worth $3.1 trillion this year, of which $620 billion is paid by US employers. Despite this significant expenditure, the healthcare industry in the country is plagued with inefficiencies and extreme variations in price and quality of health care. A major factor for these inefficiencies is the inadequate availability of information, especially with respect to the price and quality of health care, which makes it difficult for employees and health care providers to make wise health care choices.
H2S Inc. is a start-up software technology company that offers PatientDox, a document exchange SaaS platform for the health care sector. It allows health agencies and their referring physicians to send, receive, track, and e-sign time sensitive patient documents so that providers can be reimbursed for services on time. Incorporated in January 2013, the company is in pre-revenue stage looking at closing five pilot projects over the next month in Illinois and California.
According to a recent report, US EMR Market Outlook to 2017, the electronic medical records (EMR) market is project to grow 15% annually over 2013-2017. Growth will be driven by both private and public players as they continue to invest in services such as the need to adhere to the Meaningful Use Stage 2 (MU2). EMR hardware accounts for 51% of the market, and EMR services and software account for the remaining share. EMR leader athenahealth recently reported healthy quarterly results although guidance was less rosy. >>>
Rich Mahoney is the director of robotics engineering at SRI. He has more than 20 years of experience in the development and research of robotics. He holds a BS and an MS from Drexel University in Pennsylvania and a PhD in engineering from the University of Cambridge, England. In this interview he talks about current developments in the robotics industry and potential uses of robotics in our daily lives as well as the future of this fascinating field.
Sramana Mitra: Rich, let’s start with a bit of context. Give us an overview of where you think robotics sits today.
Rich Mahoney: This is my 25th year in robotics. I started in 1988 as a graduate student, and robotics itself emerged in the 1960s as a manufacturing technology in Boston and Silicon Valley, where the first demonstrations of industrial robotics were gaining traction. >>>
The cost of healthcare administration is a hot issue in America. According to the Center for American progress, in the U.S. healthcare system an estimated $361 billion annually goes to cover administrative costs. That number is a 14 percent of total healthcare expenditure nationwide.
Improvements in IT are expected to reduce these expenditures dramatically. The New England Journal of Medicine, citing the Harvard University Department of Economics, states that “The average U.S. physician spends 43 minutes a day interacting with health plans about payment, dealing with formularies, and obtaining authorizations for procedures.” In the report released by the Center for American Progress in June 2012, experts estimate that adoption of electronic transactions, or adoption of IT, can lead to a potential $26.1 billion in annual savings.
According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the electronic medical record (EMR) and electronic health record (EHR) industry in the U.S. is estimated to be worth $6 billion by 2015. The report projects an annual growth rate of 18% over the five-year period 2010 through 2015.
The world of healthcare is complicated. And as more healthcare organizations adopt cloud technologies, electronic health records and other digital mediums, the healthcare industry and, consequently,healthcare IT become more complicated, too. Physicians and other healthcare workers must ensure that they are HIPAA compliant, among other concerns. Healthcare IT is a fascinating industry that I have covered more than once on my blog, and I am naturally excited to be covering a woman entrepreneur who, like myself, is technology-focused. >>>
The healthcare IT industry has been in the news lately as various medical authorities and organizations work together to define Stage 2 requirements of the Meaningful Use initiative. Under the HITECH Act, Stage 1 under the Meaningful Use initiative began in 2011 and referred to the capability of physician providers to transfer data to electronic health records (EHRs) and share information, including electronic copies and visit summaries for patients. According to the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), 57% of office-based physicians are now using either partial or full electronic medical record (EMR) systems. >>>
Web 3.0 and Mental Illness: Personalization
Finally, all this would be so much more manageable with a serious dose of personalization that offers both a virtual and a physical case manager. Based on the illness, location, insurance plan, family situation, patient demographics, and so on, custom solutions need to be researched and designed. A virtual case manager can easily charge $50 a month, while physical case managers charge $200–$500 a month. >>>