Imprivata Aims to Make It Easier to Securely Access Electronic Health Records

3/8/11

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hospitals and in thousands of smaller clinical centers. Some of its big customers include Catholic Health Partners, Johns Hopkins University Medical System, and multiple clinical centers within the English National Health Service. Still, charting the company’s growth is tough without actual revenue figures.

What is clear is that Imprivata seems to have carved out its own identity in the somewhat crowded field of software outfits that sell single-sign on technology to manage secure access of healthcare systems. In addition to Sentillion, firms competing in this market include smaller independent companies like HealthCast in Boise, ID, and the tech giant Oracle, to name a few. (Oracle agreed to buy single-sign on firm Passlogix in October 2010, boosting its presence in this market.)

Without picking apart the nuances among the vendors’ products, I was interested in Imprivata’s product released last year that uses facial recognition technology and automatically ends sessions on a computer when someone walks away. “In healthcare, a clinician can be pulled away instantly and won’t have time do a proactive action to shut the system down or lock it,” Hussain says. Imprivata’s technology has a small camera that detects when a doctor has moved a certain distance from her computer and locks others from viewing her files.

Hussain has been with Imprivata since its early days in 2002, when he joined the company as a senior vice president. He joined the company after Dave Barrett, a general partner at Polaris, introduced him to Imprivata’s founder and chief technology officer, David Ting. The company initially released its flagship “OneSign” product in 2004 and Hussain became the firm’s CEO the following year. Prior to joining Imprivata, he was the founder and chief executive of an e-commerce software firm called Anchorsilk, which closed after its market largely vanished with the dot-com collapse in 2001.

Imprivata, founded in 2002, has 140 employees—relatively small compared with competitors such as Microsoft and Oracle, both of which have thousands of employees and deep pockets for spending on sales as well as research and development. To help it compete as a smaller independent firm, Imprivata has formed alliances to sell its software for use with the products of large electronic medical records providers such as Cerner, Eclipsys, and McKesson, according to Hussain.

He says that while those tech giants have thousands of employees, his company has an advantage in focus. Imprivata is all about ensuring fast and secured access to data, which it believes will be the key to getting doctors to actually use the electronic records that the President and so many others want to see them use.

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