The cost of healthcare is a hot issue since costs can be prohibitive, not only for the average person, but for employers and providers too. Improvements in IT are expected to reduce these expenditures dramatically, to help keep healthcare costs down without sacrificing the quality of care that patients receive. The opportunities in Healthcare IT are clearly huge in multiple dimensions, and I am convinced that many businesses can and will be built in this segment over this decade. The following conversations with some top leaders in the field discuss where their businesses found traction and shed light on where other problems that still need to be solved exist.
i-Human Patients, Inc. is a cloud-based e-learning company that is focused on rapidly developing and evaluating critical cognitive competencies in healthcare students and practitioners. Its main value proposition is that it simulates encounters with patients in order to teach users how to quickly, accurately, and cost-effectively assess and diagnose patients.
The US Healthcare system has much to be desired. HealthRight is trying to address a portion of the challenge.
Sramana Mitra: Tell us a little bit about yourself as well as introduce us to HealthRight.
John Palumbo: My career stands almost 30 years now in healthcare. I’ve been very fortunate to have a fairly diverse career in the sense that I’ve done two startups. Both of them went public. One still remains a publicly traded company and is AllScripts, which is arguably one of the largest electronic medical record companies in the US. The other company was a company called I-Trax.
We got on the American Stock Exchange, grew it from a startup up to about $150 million. Ultimately, that company was sold to Walgreens. I also had an opportunity to work with two Fortune 100 companies in between. I have that diversity in large and small companies. In 2010 when the Affordable Care Act got passed, I was doing investment banking. >>>
There will be an acute need for trained medical professionals as healthcare becomes democratised around the world. Norm discusses what his company is doing in this very important realm using online education principles.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as to i-Human Patients. What do you do? What trends are you working with?
Norm Wu: I’m a serial entrepreneur. Even in high school, I had a little bit of entrepreneurial experience. I was one of the co-founders of the campus radio station. I became very interested in technology. I started working in Silicon Valley after getting my BS and MS at Stanford. I worked on reconnaissance systems for the defense industry. This was during the Cold War when we really needed to understand what the bad guys were doing with respect to radars and missiles. >>>
Perigen is an amalgamation of a couple of different companies. This story relates how the entrepreneurs navigated a long journey.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by telling us a little bit about your personal background. I’d like to do that with both of you since you are co-founders.
Matthew Sappern: Just for clarity’s sake, Emily developed this technology. I was brought in by the Board a number of years ago to essentially restart this company.
Sramana Mitra: I see. Emily is the founder.
Matthew Sappern: One of the initial founders, and the developer of the core technology. >>>
Continuing on our theme of ‘Bootstrap First, Raise Money Later’, here’s William King’s story of building a robust company in the healthcare industry, now funded by Kleiner Perkins.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your story. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of circumstances?
William King: I was born in Princeton, New Jersey. I lived in Princeton until I was 18. I’m the oldest of six children. That’s a little bit unique in that we had a lot of action in the house. The age span was actually a difference of 10 years, which was pretty interesting and pretty heroic, now that I’m a parent myself. As a child, part of my experience in growing up was leading my siblings and helping them to participate. Kids look up to their older brothers and sisters. A lot of what was instilled in me at a very young age is this notion of making good choices, collaboration, and the idea that people are paying attention to the things that you’re doing. >>>
Morris Miller was an original investor in RackSpace, and ended up running the company for almost seven years. Following RackSpace, he is now building a super interesting company in disinfecting hospitals and saving lives. Read on. Exciting stuff!
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the beginning of your story. Where are you from? Where were your born, raised, and in what kind of background?
Morris Miller: I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. My father is a physician. My uncle is a physician and there was every expectation from the family and me that I would become a physician. I went to public school all the way through school. Then, as a sophomore, I decided to go to Felis Exeter Academy up in New Hampshire. I was the only one to go to boarding school.
Sramana Mitra: You returned to Texas though for your college or did you stay back in New England?
The consumerization of healthcare, moving into the 21st century, a Web 3.0 world — let’s discuss these with Torben Nielsen.
Sramana Mitra: Please introduce us to HealthSparq and yourself.
Torben Nielsen: I’m the Co-Founder and the SVP of Products and Strategy here at HealthSparq. HealthSparq is a leading provider of cloud-based healthcare transparency solutions. In essence, it means that we’re trying to change something in an industry that has been very slow at changing. I think healthcare is one of the few, if not the only one, where you don’t really know what it’s going to cost until after the treatment. You go see your doctor and have a treatment done and you have no idea whether that doctor is the right doctor for you. You don’t know the quality of the doctor. You don’t know what it’s going to cost you until maybe 30 days after, you get something in the mail that says, “This is not a bill. This is an explanation of benefit.”