Why can we see All our bank, credit card and brokerage data run instantly on our phone in one app, yet in a doctor’s office for our health records, diagnoses and prescriptions? Our health status should be as accessible as our checking account balance.
Financial data enabled by startups such as Plaid has begun to be liberated with health-related data, which will have an even deeper impact on society; This will save and extend life. This approach is coming quickly.
As early investors in Quavo and PatentPing, the two leading companies in financial and healthcare data, respectively, it is clear to us that the winners of healthcare data transformation will look different with financial data, even as we share a similar end position. Towards the same.
For more than a decade, government agencies and consumers have pushed for this liberation.
This push for more data liquidity coincides with demand from consumers for better information about cost and quality.
In 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (Hitech) made the first major industry push, triggering a wave of digitization through electronic health records (EHRs). Today, more than 98% of medical records are digitized. This market is dominated by multibillion dollar vendors such as Epic, Cerner and Allscripts, which control 70% of the patient’s records. However, these huge vendors have not yet made these records readily available.
A second wave of regulation has begun to address the problem of stranded data to make EHRs more interoperable and valuable. Agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services have mandated data sharing between payers and providers using a common standard, the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) protocol.
This push for more data liquidity coincides with demand from consumers for better information about cost and quality. Employers are continually increasing the greater share of health-related expenses to consumers through high-deductible health plans – from 30% in 2012 to 51% in 2018. As consumers pay more costs, they care more about the value of various health options. , Yet are unable to make those decisions without real-time access to costs and clinical data.
Tech startups have the opportunity to simplify the transmission of healthcare data and overcome the push of regulation and consumer demands. The lessons of fintech entice one to believe that a plaid for healthcare data will suffice to meet all the challenges within healthcare, but this is not the right model. Plaid’s aggregator model benefitted from relatively high concentrations of banks, limited numbers of data types, and low barriers to data access.
In contrast, healthcare data is scattered across thousands of healthcare providers, stored in multiple data formats and systems per provider, and rarely used directly for patients. Many people log into their bank app frequently, but some log into their healthcare provider portal if they know that one exists.
HIPPA regulations and strict patient consent requirements also significantly increase friction for data access and sharing. Financial data works mostly in one-to-one use cases, while health-related data is a multiple-to-many problem. A single patient’s data is spread across multiple doctors and facilities and just as much is needed to coordinate care.
Due to this scenario, the winning health technology companies will have to make about four proposals: