What does it mean to be a network?

January 22, 2019
Niko Skievaski President & Co-Founder

Well, 2018 turned out to be a pretty great year. We put out a release this morning formally sharing the progress. Rather than reiterating, I figured I’d just expand a bit on what that’s meant for us.

In a blog post a year ago I said that 2018 would be the year we “juice the network”. I had forgotten about that word choice until I sat down to write this. In a lot of ways, the year felt like juicing for sure. We actually started to see network effects in our business.

I’m not sure if we’ve ever shared this diagram. We’ve been using it and refining it internally for at least a couple of years. It essentially describes the way network effects work in our business. Let me explain.

We sell our platform to vendors (top left) who are bringing a transformative digital solution to market in healthcare. They become customers and kick off their first integration. Once they go live, our account management team works with them to do it again and again and again, spinning that vendor flywheel. This is our first vector of growth, on the backs of the visionary software vendors on a mission to fundamentally improve the way healthcare is delivered. This is why we get up in the morning.

Each time one of these vendors deploys their product, it signals to us which healthcare organizations are innovating. They’re the ones purchasing novel technology in an attempt to drive delivery efficiency, improve health outcomes, or the care experience. These are the healthcare organizations worth building relationships with. So that’s what we do. The majority of the time we don’t actually sell anything to them. Heck, they’re already using Redox. It’s mostly about learning from them what other vendors they think are making waves. A lot of times, they end up referring those vendors to work with us because it’ll make deployment at their health system that much easier. A lot of our business comes through this channel. And that’s how we get the HCO flywheel a-rockin’.

We built this diagram before we actually saw the evidence that the flywheels would spin. But we bet big on it. We forced ourselves to build our engine and our network in a reusable way because the reusable infrastructure is the point. We want vendors to reuse; we want healthcare organizations to reuse. This drives the marginal cost of integrations downward. If interoperability is the biggest barrier to progress in healthcare today, the best thing we can do for the world is to drive down the cost of being interoperable. We chose not to work with groups who didn’t believe in this approach. Some wanted exclusivity. Some wanted us to come down from the cloud that makes this networked approach possible. But as I said, we believed in this and held true.

So did the bet pay off? I think so. At least that’s the story our data is starting to tell. Check out the above charts. (I removed the y-axis so as not to give too much of our sauce away.) On the left, we see the number of connections per vendor. This describes how many times vendors traveled around that left cheek. Even as we added 112 new customers this year, we also saw a dramatic increase in the average number of connections each customer has. We saw a similar trajectory in the amount of data we process.

To boil it down, our growth is driven by the most innovative vendors and healthcare organizations out there, collaborating to solve healthcare’s biggest problems. We simply get to play a small part with a big word: interoperability. Our goal is to make healthcare data useful and, ultimately, enable frictionless adoption of technology. We have a saying at Redox, “We are all patients.” So when we think about the impact that our vendor partners are bringing, we can tie it back to each of us. And as an entrepreneur, I think that’s the best reason to build something.

Now that I got all mushy, here are a bunch of great memories from 2018, in no particular order.

Yes, that’s Wyclef Jean wearing a Redox t-shirt at HLTH. nbd. We also had some pretty amazing fiestas throughout the year. (If you’ll be at HIMSS19, come out to our biggest yet!)

We threw our second annual Redox Interoperability Summit in Denver at Catalyst, where we also have an office. James perpetually used a pinching hand motion.

Redox adopted FHIR and made it available to our entire network. We also brought FHIR messaging to life for the first time in the industry. In addition, we added some amazing features to our platform including data models for patient education, research, CDS, and SSO. We created integration normalization functionality that can turn transactions into queries and vice versa. And listening to our scaling customers and our own 24/7 support teams, we built a customizable error management and alerting feature that can integrate with Slack.

Rooted for the Red Sox before they won the series, mostly because of our close textual-proximity.

We took the team to Thailand! JK. This is in Madison, WI, just a mile from our headquarters. Summer was the heat of our growth this year, finding our footing and getting into a stride.

Gartner named us a “Cool Vendor” along with our friends down the street at Healthfinch. So we threw a party overshadowed by this flash of lightning.

This is actually from just last week at our first Team Week of 2019. ~80 people now! After we took this, we took to karaoke, as we do. As a remote team, it’s important to bring the crew together to “put a body to the face” as a first-time Team Weeker observed. This team’s give-a-shit factor is through the roof, making it a true honor to be a part.

Here’s to 2019!


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