Data Democratization Bridges Chasm in Healthcare Ecosystem

Posted by | October 20, 2016

Healthcare represents a broader, deeper content set than any other domain by orders of magnitude. Healthcare costs represent 17.6 percent of GDP, which translates to approximately $3 trillion, and is projected to go up to 20 percent by 2020. According to a recent report ranking select access to healthcare metrics among developed nations, the U.S. is underperforming with 2.4 physicians per 1,000 people and 2.6 hospital beds per 1,000 people.[1]

While patients continue to petition for full access to their medical records, along with complete transparency into healthcare costs and better access to care, health systems, too, are looking to lower costs, deliver better care and improve the flow of information to their customers. However, while both constituents want the same end results, there are significant disconnects in execution.

Ninety percent of the world’s data was created in just two years [2]. “Fixing” healthcare begins with new data technologies capable of processing and analyzing this mountain of information.  While entrepreneurs have realized this opportunity, it has created a tremendous amount of redundancy in the healthcare data market.

Providers find themselves inundated with pitches and proposals that offer a wide array of “solutions”. But, what’s the key to breaking through? Better yet, what’s the best approach to developing a sustainable product?

With intensifying scrutiny on companies looking for start-up and growth capital, we’ve identified four areas in which entrepreneurs and start-ups can establish a stronghold for their businesses and ensure authenticity.

Find a product/market fit.

There is a plethora of challenges in healthcare — make sure you target the ones that actually matter to your customer. Today, payers, providers, and employees have options. Research the challenges facing health systems, understand your pipeline and your customers’ top priorities, and target those that value your model. Not all networks are created equal; so don’t waste time on prospective customers who are misaligned with your value proposition.

Build your product, not theirs.

A common misstep for young companies is to tailor its products to a “whale” of a client. Early stage validation through a signature customer or co-development partner is important, but don’t let them tinker too much with your product. Scalability is critical and over-customization can reduce the long-term value and potential of your product. Balance addressing your customer’s pain points while maintaining a product focus. Healthcare can be slow to adopt, so be patient and create a versatile solution capable of evolving.

There’s a caveat for every customer.

Do not offer up exclusivity in exchange for working with an accredited client. A client base should mix quality and quantity. Building a stable of well-respected customers known for their technology audits or clinical acumen helps validate an early-stage company’s products. There should be a certain set of standards for landing new business. Understanding the difference between the customers that are taste testing vs. the loyal, long-term ambassadors is a part of sustaining real product value.

Reduce barriers along the sales pathway.

Build an equal opportunity platform, capable of supplying benefits to all stakeholders. In healthcare, key players are all making an effort to improve patient care. Everyone wants an advantage in the market. This could be reducing administrative costs at health systems, while simultaneously giving patients real-time access to test results or medical charts. Ultimately, this mentality will give companies multiple revenue streams.

One company that is combatting the widening disconnect between insurers and healthcare providers is our partner company, Moxe Health, located in Madison, WI. Founded by Dan Wilson, Moxe democratizes access to information enabling bi-directional data exchange through its key product, Substrate, directly linking payers and their provider networks. By integrating insurer data using industry standard processes, Moxe allows providers to incorporate claims, risk and other payer data into their own analytic efforts, allowing clinicians to better understand patient risks and deliver value-based care. As the market evolves to include further stakeholders, Moxe will aid efforts to mobilize data originating from all corners of the healthcare ecosystem and is preparing for a future where patients will have full access to their medical record.

[1] Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services Annual Report (2015).
[2] “Harness the Power of Big Data: The IBM Big Data Platform” (2013).
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