Patient Centered Apps – The Future Is Here

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As the healthcare industry moves towards requirements for Stages 2 and 3 of Meaningful Use and embraces more patient-centered care, it’s becoming clearer than ever that involving patients in their own wellness will be key to the success of most healthcare organizations. The venture community is no stranger to this trend, and products targeted at patient engagement abound. This week, I looked at three startups that may just get it right.

Healthcrowd: Very cool. Pick a few healthcare challenges like cardiac rehabilitation and diabetes management that require significant patient effort outside the care setting, and communicate with patients via text messages. Use algorithms to learn, personalize, and predict the next best message, and automatically coordinate care and help patients potentially avoid adverse outcomes. I think the concept of communicating with patients automatically and with relevant information and in a way to which they are accustomed is perfect. If patients are not all benefitting from something like Healthcrowd in a few years I’d be quite surprised!

GroupMD: In evaluating GroupMD, I had to first look past their terrible website and logo. For a company whose success is tied to good design, this is a little alarming. Makes me wonder what the UI and in-product design looks like.  The product is an app that simply allows secure care team and patient coordination with one click.  I love it for its simplicity, and think that patients will love knowing that their care providers are all getting the same info at the same time. But also because of its simplicity, I don’t think that this app will succeed. I was unable to find anything differentiated about the product, and the barriers to entry are low. What’s to keep an existing portal vendor from providing this?

Caremerge: A solution focused on senior living centers, Caremerge seems to offer a holistic approach to the medical coordination needs of senior patients. Impressively, the founding team actually lived at a nursing home prior to penning the apps, so the workflows should resonate with the reality of senior centers.  Communication logs and assessments make sense to me, though it’s a little unclear how the clinical collaboration will work, especially given the claim that this will help centers align with hospital ACOs. Seems a bit of a stretch to me. Regardless, this product really looks like it will help coordinate the details like family engagement that may have previously gone overlooked and should help facilities take a more patient-centered approach if the apps deliver as promised.

So what did I miss? Challenge my comments or want to highlight another patient-centered app/startup!

 

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