Navigating digital health: Health systems

April 21, 2017
Niko Skievaski President & Co-Founder

Redox is committed to helping make the world of digital health work, both for the companies creating the solutions as well as their health system partners.

Redox sits in between health system’s EHRs and digital health software. We are the application layer to standardize interfaces and manage connections.

While there are a number of companies in the digital health space working to solve the interoperability problem, there are a few things that set us apart and led to our growth over the past few years:

1. Our developer-first approach to integration

We create a developer experience that remains consistent between different EHRs and health systems. The only way to do this is to have a truly consistent and centralized API. Redox is creating a network; here are some stats:

All of these are nodes on our network. All of the data that passes through our platform translates into a standard, canonical data model.

Building a network is tough. Point-to-point integrations or one-off application layers are much, much easier. That’s why our competitors have chosen those routes. But we took this unique approach to create the developer experience we knew would be necessary to solve healthcare’s interoperability problem.

Bureaucracy, governance, and regulations are not going to solve healthcare interoperability. While all of them struggle to move the needle forward, it will be the developers whose solutions will give rise to a solution and, at the end of the day, save lives.

2. Our go-to-market strategy

The second key to our growth has been our focus on the application side of the market. Our hypothesis was, if we can partner with the innovators who are pushing digital health forward, then we’d have a big place at the table. We knew that the innovations we were seeing had to get to market.

Regardless of what happens (or doesn’t happen) in Washington, technology adoption in healthcare will drive the efficiency gains we need to see to turn this industry right-side-up again. Early on we decided to put all our eggs in this basket.

However, as our strategy has matured, we’ve seen how vital it is for us to grow our partnerships on the health system side of our network as well. Our partnership with Intermountain is a first public step in that direction.

You might be asking yourself, “If our progress thus far has been driven by the focus on applications, then why would we shift that focus to health systems?” I’ve struggled with this exact question for the past year, but believe we have some evidence that builds confidence in this direction.

Digital health is too expensive.

You can’t sell a $100 solution in healthcare. You have to sell a $100K solution. This disparity isn’t because a great digital health app is more expensive to create than an app in another industry, but rather because we have a structural problem in the way technology is adopted in healthcare.

Software developers have to charge a price that makes the sales cycle worth their time. If it takes two years to sign a contract with a big health system, the prize at the end better be worth it. So they raise prices. As that price tag goes up, the amount of planning and negotiating that needs to happen increases, thus further extending that sales cycle. It’s a death spiral–a structural problem.

Redox has had a front row seat to this death spiral as we work with our digital health partners through their sales cycles. We often suggest a number of strategies in an attempt to speed up the sales cycle:

While these tactics often work, they are just bandaids. They don’t fix the structural technology adoption problem.

For us to help in any real way, we need to be able to streamline more than just the integration piece of the sales cycle, so we’re beginning to talk to the most innovative health systems out there to do just that.

Redox and Health Systems

Our work with health systems focuses on a few key pieces.

  1. We’re working with health systems around their digital health deployment strategies. If we plug Redox into an EHR staging environment, we can enable health system buyers to turn on applications and try them with minimal effort. We want to empower experimentation. If a health system can flip a switch to deploy a telehealth solution, they’ll try more solutions allowing them to buy faster and choose the best tool (or tools) for their workflow. This is starting to tackle the discovery and diligence phases of the pipeline.

We’re working with various health systems to help identify solutions, try them in staging, and pilot before the enterprise roll-out.

  1. Health systems often grow their network to better manage their patient populations; this is an area we can help. This growth often includes integrating digital health applications; however, that’s not always the case. We’re working with ACOs to integrate the different participating hospitals, affiliated providers, and HIEs. What was once an immense technical effort can now be handled through the Redox network and standardized models.
  2. We’re also helping health systems act more like digital health developers. They have first-hand knowledge of the problems they’re looking to solve. Sometimes they make their own apps and want to commercialize them by licensing them to other health systems. In this case, our value proposition to health systems is the same; we help them build apps on a scalable API that can connect them to any other EHR instance.

The whole point of our work with health systems is to help them take the effort out of adopting digital health solutions. We take on the work of defining integration workflows with apps and standing up a reusable networked application layer that requires no maintenance from their IT teams.

If you’re a digital health application and want to talk more about how Redox can help you integrate with your customers, let us know. We’d love to talk.

And if you’re a health system looking to adopt digital health solutions, we can help you, too! Looking forward to chatting.

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