Accessing & Using APIs from Major EMR Vendors–Some Data at Last!

Today I’m happy to release some really unique data about a pressing problem–the ability of small tech vendors to access health data contained in the systems of the major EMR vendors. There’ll be much more discussion of this topic at the Health 2.0 Provider Symposium on Sunday, and much more in the Health 2.0 Fall Annual Conference as a whole.

Information blocking, Siloed data. No real inter-operability. Standards that aren’t standards. In the last few years, the clamor about the problems accessing personal health data has grown as the use of electronic medical records (EMRs) increased post the Federally-funded HITECH program. But at Health 2.0 where we focus on newer health tech startups using SMAC (Social/Sensor; Mobile OS; Cloud; Analytics) technologies, the common complaint we’ve heard has been that the legacy–usually client-server based–EMR vendors won’t let the newer vendors integrate with them.

With support from California Health Care Foundation, earlier this year (2016) Health 2.0 surveyed over 100 small health tech companies to ask their experiences integrating with specific EMR vendors.

The key message: The complaint is true: it’s hard for smaller health tech companies to integrate their solutions with big EMR vendors. Most EMR vendors don’t make it easy. But it’s a false picture to say that it’s all the EMR vendors’ fault, and it’s also true that there is great variety not only between the major EMR vendors but also in the experience of different smaller tech companies dealing with the same EMR vendor. All the data is in the embedded slide set below, with much more commentary below the fold.

The New Laws for Hope(Lab)

HopeLab, which is funded by the Omidyar eBay fortune, has for near a decade produced games to promote kids’ health, like Re-Mission for kids with cancer, and Zamzee, promoting activity for all children. But the real impact on the population of poor health environments for kids is only really just starting to be acknowledged more generally in society.

So it’s fabulous that HopeLab has appointed a new CEO, Margaret Laws. She was previously responsible for CHCF’s Innovation Fund, aimed at getting technology to move the needle for the underserved. She took the time to explain to me why she took her new role (think impact on children and their communities). And on a personal note, having known Margaret for several years, I think HopeLab made an excellent choice. This is a fascinating interview, even if the headline may be the worst pun in THCB history. Margaret also suggests where partners both in the health world and the tech world might work with HopeLab.