How Microsoft (and Startups) Can Make Money in Health IT, Personalized Medicine Is a “Crock,” and Other Highlights from the Xconomy Forum

5/14/10Follow @gthuang

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what motivates people—patient outcomes is a powerful incentive for doctors.” (Foltz also noted that if certain data-heavy records, such as brain images, come from a hospital outside the Swedish system, he can’t access them. He made it sound like anyone with a secure, high-bandwidth network for transferring those images would be onto something valuable.)

Kabir Shahani, CEO and co-founder of Seattle-based Appature:

“It’s about building the right workflow around the doctor’s day. How do I streamline all that information that’s coming in? For big companies, how do you get the right message to Dr. Foltz?” Shahani said, referring to all the marketing information on drugs and devices that bombards physicians and healthcare providers.

He talked about “an explosion of commercial and clinical data. There’s a bunch of commercial activity around the data. It’s a business, it’s a transaction between a company and a physician or a nurse. That transaction is changing dramatically. For every dollar they spend on [Appature’s marketing] technology, they’re getting five dollars back… Doctors are really focusing on ‘which app will give me the most insight in one hour a month?’”

Carla Corkern, CEO of Talyst in Bellevue, WA:

“Talyst has been putting [pharmacy] inventory management systems in hospitals for eight years,” Corkern said. On the adoption of new IT systems, she said, “Nurses tend to be willing to change before the physicians…You have to convince healthcare providers that it’s about patient safety.”

In response to Luke’s question about a good startup idea that the panelists weren’t working on yet, Corkern suggested devices for monitoring people’s health from their home. This device, and software, could arm the patient with lots of data he or she could gather at home and share with their physician for advice. There is still an opportunity for a “killer hardware device” for this home health monitoring, Corkern said. (Like the iPad perhaps? Maybe not.) And panel moderator Rob Arnold, president of Seattle-based Geospiza, talked about moving beyond genomic software for basic researchers into “clinical applications around genetic information” that doctors could use in patient care “that are deeply pragmatic.”

Malcolm Costello, senior vice president at Kryptiq, based in the Portland, OR, area:

“Your dog has a better chance of having an electronic health record than you do,” he said (perhaps my favorite comment of the day; maybe it was because of his Birmingham-area English accent). Pointing out that you can set up a grave plot and inscribe your tombstone on the Web, he said, “It’s easier to die online than it is to live online.”

Kryptiq applies the simple principles of e-mail to healthcare, he said—things like secure and private communications between doctors, or doctors and patients, that “fit with the workflow of a physician’s practice.” Costello said, “We’re the first company in the U.S. to combine … Next Page »

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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