BlueTree Network Co-founder Launches Healthcare App Venture

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sharing patient data—creating “funnels or passages between the silos” in the industry, as he put it. (But he’s quick to note that Branch2 doesn’t intend to compete with Epic or other electronic health records companies.)

Branch2 products could also play in the growing movement around the “Internet of Things,” which is slowly making its way into healthcare, Luedtke said. Examples might include Branch2 software that works in tandem with computer chips embedded in medical devices or chips carried by doctors that monitor the amount of time spent face-to-face with patients.

The customer would own the application and receive a portion of the revenue if it sells to other organizations. Healthcare systems could hire Branch2 to build an enterprise-level app, or on a smaller scale, individual physicians could pitch an idea and own the rights to the resulting app, Luedtke said.

“[Branch2’s] network can help facilitate the selling and distribution of that application with other health systems,” Luedtke said. “That value, that solution that was found in one place can be leveraged in other places.”

Luedtke recognizes that healthcare providers might be reluctant to sell their app to local competitors. He said Branch2 won’t require customers to sell their apps for use outside their respective organizations. For healthcare systems that do want to market the product, Branch2 will target the distribution of the app to peers that aren’t direct competitors.

“It’s really at their own comfort level to decide how much [data] to share, who to share with, who the app will be sold to,” Luedtke said.

But he pointed out that health systems will likely invest a lot to solve these problems, and selling the related apps can generate revenue that makes the health system more competitive and improves patient care.

Branch2’s competitors include Explorys, a Cleveland company that provides a software platform for health systems to manage and analyze their vast volume of patient data. But Explorys doesn’t have a collaborative app-building service nor a model similar to Branch2’s, which will attempt to bring together software developers, entrepreneurs, and the healthcare industry.

“Being in the healthcare space and working at BlueTree, we know that there are problems that need to be solved at these health systems. We also know there are health systems that have done amazing work that could apply that amazing work to other health systems,” Luedtke said. “But as far as I know, there’s no good model to do that today.”

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