From the point at which a medication arrives at a hospital’s receiving dock to the time it’s given to a patient, Omnicell systems are relied on to “store it, package it, barcode it, order it, issue it, and charge it.” Now, CEO Randy Lipps wants to automate ALL OF IT — getting medications from dockside to bedside, without the help of human hands. The Autonomous Pharmacy is not only Omnicell’s bold vision for the future of medication management for hospitals that brings in robotics and software to improve the safety and accuracy of every aspect of the drug delivery process, but as Randy says, it’s an “industry movement” to free the hospital pharmacist from the “basement pharmacy” and allow them to truly practice at the top of their license. Although integrating new tech into healthcare systems is never easy, this CEO says that it’s less the tech — and more the lack of urgency in shifting our mindset as an industry — that’s slowing us down. What exactly needs to change? Bold visions require big plans…
Filmed at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting in Las Vegas, December 2019.
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we have SoftBank Money! I managed to beat Chrissy Farr to this piece of gossip by about 3 weeks, but digital pharmacy startup Alto raises $250 million from SoftBank. Medloop raises 6 million euros doing communication with patients, and mental health startup Spring Health raises $22 million as well. Turning to the EMR drama, I also give a rundown on Judy Faulkner’s letter, and explain the cautionary tale that is Practice Fusion & the Purdue opiate promotion. —Matthew Holt
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, everybody’s getting 20 million dollars! There are so many deals to cover. AI chatbot symptom checker Buoy gets $20 million, Clew gets $20 million, diabetes management company Oviva gets $21 million, Covera gets $23.5 million for diagnostic improvement in radiology, Zipari gets $22.5 million working on engagement in health plans. Another $20 million for Kaizen (yet another nonemergency medical transportation company), and Color raises $75 million for personal genetics testing. In other news, Google and Cerner—the catfight begins just in time so we don’t have to talk too much about interoperability at HIMSS. And if you were also waiting with bated breath for where Mona Siddiqui ended up, tune in for the gossip on this episode of Health in 2 Point 00. —Matthew Holt
really follow FinTech — I can’t even keep up with HealthTech! — but it caught
my eye when Visa announced that
it was acquiring FinTech company Plaid for $5.3b; a 2018 funding round valued
the company at $2.65b. A 100% increase in valuation within a year suggests
that something important is going on, or at least that people think something
there may be some lessons for healthcare in there somewhere.
of you who are equally as unfamiliar with FinTech’s terrain, Plaid has been described as
the “plumbing” that supports many other FinTech companies.
Launched in 2013, one in four people with a U.S. bank account are now believed to
use Plaid to connect with 2,600 FinTech developers connected to more than
11,000 financial institutions. Its customers include Acorns, Betterment,
Chime, Coinbase, Gemini, Robinhood, Transferwise, and Venmo. Plaid claims
it connects with 200 million consumer accounts.
The IDIH Project (International Digital Health Cooperation for Preventive, Integrated, Independent and Inclusive Living) is setting up an expert-driven “Digital Health Transformation Forum” to promote and increase international collaboration, advance digital health, and support active and healthy ageing through innovation. IDIH is funded under the European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme and brings together prominent organizations from EU and five Strategic Partner Countries: Canada, China, Japan, South Korea and the USA.
IDIH is seeking
individuals whose expertise is in alignment with the following focus
1. Preventive care
– Focus: Early diagnosis and detection
2. Integrated care –
Focus: Using new technologies to redesign, coordinate and integrate
health and social services and place citizens, patients and seniors at the
centre of health systems
3. Independent and
connected living – Focus: Tele-monitoring via smart home and living
4. Inclusive living –
Focus: Helping the elderly feel more connected socially/ healthy living
Healthcare is in the midst
of a digital transformation, creating information security, compliance, and
workflow challenges. The engagement of
an increasingly decentralized workforce along with anytime anyplace healthcare
and the proliferation of cloud-based applications, databases, and mobile
devices have now (or soon will have) eroded the once well-defined network
The healthcare industry remains one of the
most highly targeted for cyber-attacks – a recent report from Beazley Breach
Insightsshowed that, 41 percent of all breaches in
2018 occurred in the healthcare sector. This
means that, going forward, healthcare organizations must pay particular
attention to cybersecurity and do so
without restricting or compromising access to the systems and services
providers and patients are now using and may do in the future. A
successful cybersecurity plan requires these organizations to focus on
establishing and managing trusted digital identities for all users,
applications, and devices throughout the entire extended digital healthcare
enterprise – from the hospital, to the cloud, and beyond.
Why are modern hackers targeting
healthcare? Because they can, and they have the opportunity to do so! Hackers
also know the value of the data stored within provider systems. Today, medical
records fetch up to ten times more money on the dark web than the average
The photo below shows what “visit notes” from a doctor appointment might look like in the era before computers. Just two days before my first speech where I said “Gimme my damn data,” I had an ENT visit, and on the way out I asked for a copy of the doctor’s notes. The clerk snickered out loud and showed it to me, saying, “If you really want it….”
In order to celebrate the next decade (although the internet is confused whether its actually the end of the decade…), we’re taking a step back and listing our picks for the 9 most influential healthcare companies of the 2010s. If your company is left off, there’s always next decade… But honestly, we tried our best to compile a unique listing that spanned the gamut of redefining healthcare for a variety of good and bad reasons. Bon appétit!
1. Epic Systems Corporation
The center of the U.S. electronic medical record (EMR) universe resides in Verona, Wisconsin. Population of 13,166. The privately held company created by Judith “Judy” Faulkner in 1979 holds 28% of the 5,447 total hospital market in America. Drill down into hospitals with over 500-beds and Epic reigns supreme with 58% share. Thanks to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and movement away from paper records (Meaningful Use), Epic has amassed annualized revenue of $2.7 billion. That was enough to hire the architects of Disneyland to design their Google-like Midwestern campus. The other amazing fact is that Epic has grown an average of 14% per year, despite never raising venture capital or using M&A to acquire smaller companies.
Over the years, Epic has been criticized for being expensive, non-interoperable with other EMR vendors, and the partial cause for physician burnout. Expensive is probably an understatement. For example, Partners HealthCare (to be renamed Mass General Brigham) alone spent $1.2 billion to install Epic, which included hiring 600 employees and consultants just to build and implement the system and onboard staff. With many across healthcare calling for medical record portability that actually works (unlike health information exchanges), you best believe America’s 3rd richest woman will have ideas how the country moves forward with digital medical records.
It used to be that patients would have to go see a doctor to get lab tests ordered to check their cholesterol or metabolism, but now, thanks to at-home testing companies like Everlywell, those tests (and 30 others, including STI tests) can be ordered online or picked up at some big box retailers. We chatted with Dr. Frank Ong, Everlywell’s Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, about what it means to put patients in charge of ordering their own lab work — and combing through their own testing results — vis a vie the Everlywell platform. As consumers demand more control over their healthcare dollar and the experience it buys, is there a point where patients risk getting in over their heads? How have doctors been responding to patients who come in armed with their own lab results? We check in on how at-home testing kits are ‘testing’ the reaches of patient-led care.