My personal curiosities include the intersection of technology and medicine (often referred to as health/healthcare/medical information technology, health 2.0, eHealth, etc.). Lately, I’ve been looking into what is happening in health IT around Madison* and found some interesting things.
An Epic Connection?
If you have an interest in Electronic Health Records (EHR), you have certainly heard of Epic Systems, one of the largest players in EHR space. Epic is based in Verona Wisconsin, just south of Madison. One way a med tech community could grow here would be to have Epic employees leave and start their own businesses. So far, this route appears to be the less traveled.
The most straightforward transitions to date have been Epic consulting companies, which you can see heavily advertised as you travel through the airport in Madison. As an example, Nordic Consulting, an Epic-only consulting firm was founded in 2010 and is staffed largely by former Epic employees. Nordic recently raised funds from a group of healthcare investment firms to allow them to grow.
Back on the direct path of health IT, Moxe Health is an early stage company with Epic connections. Both of the founders, Dan Wilson and Mark Olschesky, were there before starting their own company. With Moxe, they are working to create a text based system for patients to find healthcare.
There’s More to Madison Health IT than Epic
While there are a few, most of the Madison health IT companies in my broadly defined searches don’t appear to have Epic connections. I’ve included the links for these companies since I came up with the descriptions myself.
- Asthmapolis has produced a device that is attached to asthma inhalers, allowing doctors and patients to gain better control over the disease.
- Emdat makes clinical documentation software to allow for straightforward documentation in EHR systems.
- Forte Research, a clinical trial and translational research software company, was founded in 2000.
- Pharmacy OneSource is a software-as-a-service (Saas) provider for hospitals that is now part of Wolters Kluwer Health. Pharmacy OneSource was founded in 2000 and merged with Healthprolink in 2005.
- Refilll Wizard allows healthcare workers – doctors, nurses – to spend more time with their patients by streamlining the refill process for prescriptions. The company behind the product is called Healthfinch.
- Revolution EHR is a cloud based EHR system for optometry practices that was started by an optometrist, Scott Jens.
- Wellbe has created a web based Patient Guidance System to bring patient treatment plans to life for the patients.
Health Is in the Air
In August 2012, In Business Madison, a local business magazine, published a Top 100 List – Dane County’s Largest 100 Employers. Madison is the state capitol and home to a major academic force: University of Wisconsin Madison but the list excluded government entities. Two things caught my eye from the list:
- There are multiple large healthcare providers in Dane County.
- Epic Systems employs many very bright people to develop and train others on Electronic Health Records.
My Initial Takeaway
The Madison area has a health IT sector that is apparently growing and I’m interested to learn more about the factors that have led to growth in this sector.
*The Madison Area