EClinicalWorks Unveils Mobile App as Patients’ Go-To Site for Healthcare

Many people steer their social lives from a single online dashboard, such as Facebook. Entrepreneur Girish Navani is betting that people will also want to use a densely connected Web platform to manage the health aspects of their lives.

His Westborough, MA, company is rolling out a new mobile phone application designed to be the single control panel where patients can do everything from consulting their doctors to tracking their exercise habits.

Navani is the CEO and co-founder of eClinicalWorks, one of the leading firms in the business of helping doctors to manage and store the electronic health records of their patients. The private company is laying out $25 million to fund the first year of operations for a new stand-alone subsidiary called Health & Online Wellness, or “healow” for short. Patients can download the healow app free of charge starting today for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems.

Healow users will be able to tap into their medical records right away if they are patients of one of the healthcare professionals who pay $375 per month for eClinicalWorks’ services, which include billing software and cloud-based health records management. For the moment, the doctors will pay nothing extra if their patients start using healow to do things like sending questions to their practitioners, scheduling appointments, and checking their test results.

Healow app home screen

The home screen for eClinical Works' new healow mobile app.

But healow will expand later this year to include add-on functions including home health monitoring apps developed by outside businesses, Navani says. At least two “significant vendors” have already signed contracts to provide services including weight loss programs, blood pressure measurements, and a pedometer that counts the steps an individual takes every day, he says.

Navani says says he’s confident that revenue sources for healow will develop quickly. Payment could come from health monitoring device companies that gain more customers through healow. It could also come from doctors, employers, and health plans that would save money if healow keeps their patients healthier, he says.

“I’m pretty positive that it will be a profitable business by next year,” Navani says. He says it’s against his philosophy to invest in ventures that lose money for years until they get off the ground.

Navani and the four co-founders who launched eClinicalWorks in 1999 took no money from outside investors and say they still hold no debt on the business. The private company reports it has been profitable every quarter since 2000. Navani says he anticipates that 2012 revenues will be in the range of $250 million to $255 million. The company says it has a customer base of more than 70,000 physicians.

Big competitors in the field include Allscripts of Chicago, IL (NASDAQ: MDRX), which says it serves 180,000 doctors, and Epic, a private company based in Verona, WI, that recently received high ratings from KLAS, an Orem, UT, ratings firm that ranks health IT practices based on customer surveys.

Such firms are rated by many different metrics, based on their software, other services, and the size of the physician practices they serve best. Navani says eClinicalWorks ranks in the top two spots by the number of prescriptions ordered, and the number of patient visits that are covered by an electronic health records system.

At least nine electronic health records companies, including eClinicalWorks, already offer mobile platforms where … Next Page »

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