We’re often asked by investors, healthcare professionals and companies we work with: What is digital health to you? The truth is the term can be defined many ways by different people. This post will outline some of the areas of digital health our team finds exciting and where we intend to invest most of our time, energy and dollars. If you have an exciting idea in these areas, reach out to us and we can chat.
A core thesis of HealthX is that HIT innovation will continue to progress even as electronic health records (EHR) have now almost completely penetrated the market. The focus for health systems and providers is now shifting from installing EHRs and qualifying for government incentives to leveraging technology solutions to provide more efficient care for patients. This also is happening in the context of a major shift in how providers are reimbursed, specifically in the transition from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement.
The following are some of the areas where we see opportunities for technology solutions in the U.S. healthcare market. We will delve more deeply into each in future blog posts.
- Interoperability Tools – Interoperability is the buzzword of the HIT sector currently, taking overconferences, leading to supposed inter-company feuds and even is the focus of the federal government. We see the promise in being able to better connect various systems being used by healthcare providers so duplicate documentation is prevented and user workflows are streamlined. Redox, which is working to solve some of these challenges through its interoperability engine, was the fund’s first investment.
- Clinical Decision Support – Software tools used to assist clinicians in making better decisions for the care of their patients. CDS tools could include: computerized alerts and reminders to care providers and patients; clinical guidelines; condition-specific order sets; focused patient data reports and summaries; documentation templates; diagnostic support, and contextually relevant reference information.
- Analytics platforms – Utilizing “big data” to gain insight on financial, clinical and operational metrics.
- Telemedicine – Allowing patients to get care remotely over video and leveraging device integration to get biometric readings. Telemedicine can include everything from using two-way video, email, smart phones, wireless tools and other forms of telecommunications technology.
- Financial Decision Support – Tools to help healthcare organizations break down and manage their costs, letting them focus on the areas within their organization where financial efficiencies can be gained.
- Population Health – A platform for health systems to help focus care on the various segments of their patient population and track outcomes. Solutions tend to be cloud-based subscription products that extract data from multiple health systems, and can sit on top of various data sources to help manage patient care and providers’ financial performance.
- Coding – Tools to assist healthcare systems in codifying information in medical records to submit for reimbursement.
- Billing and registration automation – Software to automate and improve the patient and user experience before and after their clinical visit, such as the billing process and events leading up to an office visit.
- Security – Common to many industries, concern around the security of digital information is an even larger concern in the healthcare industry. Security and privacy tools that can help secure sensitive information, protecting it from hackers, identity or financial thieves or just from people who are not privy to the information is an area of huge need in healthcare.