HealthMyne Put the Band Back Together to Unite Medical Images & Data
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moving slowly to implement new technology.
“I think it’ll be hard for hospitals to want to invest in something which is still new and in development, no matter how innovative it looks,” Turski says. “We’re going to have to be able to show some success in some very large places that have very large volumes” of patients.
The exact details of HealthMyne’s revenue model are still being determined, but it plans to charge a fee per use of the software, which should lower the up-front cost for customers, Sinha says.
HealthMyne could be aided by new hospital reimbursement rules in the Affordable Care Act that pay healthcare providers based on quality measures and patient outcomes, rather than the traditional fee-for-service model, Turski says. That might turn a hospital executive’s return on investment calculus in HealthMyne’s favor, if the administrator believes the software will result in better, less costly care.
But HealthMyne could be hampered, at least early on, by the hospitals’ software systems, which might not have all of the necessary patient data housed on servers in a compatible format that will allow the company’s software to quickly find information and present it in a visual way. HealthMyne’s software won’t incorporate natural language processing, for example, meaning it won’t be able to read the free-form notes that radiologists often attach to patients’ scans.
“Those are barriers that’ll have to be overcome,” Turski says. “But they’re recognizable barriers, and there are recognizable solutions.”
Hospitals are starting to invest time and money into creating “data warehouses” that store all of their patient data, and they’re also “scrubbing” electronic health records to fix errors and turn qualitative reports into quantitative data that can be understood by HealthMyne’s software. “They’ve got these nurses reading these reports and saying, ‘Was the tumor getting smaller or bigger?’—whatever they can glean from that report—and getting it into a structured database where you can search and actually do analytics,” Gehring says.
HealthMyne will be strategic when going after customers, initially pursuing large cancer centers that either have or are investing in the data infrastructure that the startup’s software will require.
“Part of the risk we are taking, obviously, is saying the market is going that way,” Sinha says. “In some places, the infrastructure is there, and the infrastructure will be there more and more as we grow.”
HealthMyne is first targeting radiologists and oncologists, but eventually plans to expand its software to cardiology, neurology, and “the entire field of medicine,” Mackie says.
“What we see is there’s a data deluge coming, if it’s not already there,” Sinha says. “It’s about helping doctors interpret that data better. They don’t have the time. Their job is to take care of the patient.”