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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electronic health records of different [systems] on a common, neutral network.” He added that Kryptiq is not trying to own the network.

Peter Gelpi, CEO and co-founder of Seattle-based Clarity Health:

The biggest challenge in healthcare? Gelpi said it’s that “you can’t deliver unless you have a group of people who will work together. It’s not technology, it’s alignment.” Clarity takes care of the insurance issues and other administrative hassles when a doctor refers a patient to another doctor. “We do referrals like a social network,” he said. “We’ve got a viral network going” that now includes some 300 doctors in Washington state.

“Our system doesn’t do billing,” Gelpi said. “We are the front of the revenue cycle. We are a broker and marketing service. We’re middleware to make transactions more efficient.”

Sujal Patel, CEO and co-founder of Seattle-based Isilon Systems:

“Three years ago, we realized a transformation was occurring in what biomedical research was doing to IT,” Patel said. In short, genomics institutes and other medical organizations need to store and access huge amounts of data—which is exactly the problem that Isilon solves. The biomedical sector now accounts for 15 to 16 percent of Isilon’s revenues (up from 2 percent in early 2008, and on double the revenue). Its customer roster includes a lot of big names, like Merck, Genentech, Sanofi-Aventis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Illumina, Complete Genomics, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Stanford University, and Johns Hopkins University.

“One of the biggest challenges I see that will affect biomedical research in the next five to 10 years is that it will stretch IT in ways very few other [industries] have,” Patel said. “We see a bright future with this space.”

The closing keynote chat was between Rod Hochman, CEO of Swedish Medical Center, and Stephen Friend, the founder and president of Sage Bionetworks, both based in Seattle. Chad Waite of OVP Venture Partners (who said he sold medical equipment for five years in a previous life) moderated the discussion.

A few things stood out to me in the chat. Hochman said, “Today we’re working in a healthcare chassis that’s 100 years old. The delivery side is completely broken. We have the biggest backlog of paper in the world.” But there is hope for going digital: “We quickly wired up everything in our … 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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