Tech Platform Innovations in Healthcare Will Rely on “hCloud”


This week, TripleTree hosted its fourth Principals Forum web cast of 2010 discussing the impact cloud computing is making across the healthcare landscape.

Our colleague Ryan Stewart facilitated our panel-centric discussion around the broad healthcare industry issues of improving access to, and care within the healthcare system.  After a few introductory remarks by Scott Donahue of TripleTree on the evolution of Software as a Service (SaaS) to cloud, our panel of four accomplished healthcare veterans took the helm, they were:

  • Dr. Giovanni Colella, President, CEO & Co-Founder – Castlight Health
  • John Holton, President, CEO & Founder – SCI Solutions
  • Nancy Brown, Chief Growth Officer – MedVentive, Inc.
  • Albert Prast, CIO/CTO – Connextions

The panel cited real world examples where cloud-based solutions are influencing how hospitals, doctors, and the patients consume information, primarily:

The impact of hCloud on healthcare workflows:  Cloud computing is weaving itself into both the clinical and administrative areas of healthcare and fundamentally changing the dynamic of “IT support” for healthcare workflows and care delivery. Impacts of cloud computing in healthcare can be seen in:

  • Anywhere, anytime access to accurate and usable information: hCloud is enabling the mobilization of data to the right constituent, through the right medium at the right time.  This is having a profound impact on how providers deliver care, patients access care, and consumers (i.e. patients) purchase healthcare coverage and connect with the care community.
  • Improved access to and utilization of information: One of the biggest challenges in healthcare is the fact that critical data (necessary for clinicians to make accurate decisions, or consumers to make informed choices) is spread out across multiple systems and points of care.  Healthcare IT’s data structures are based on encounters and events rather than on a holistic patient viewpoint making it very difficult to identify and collect the data, let alone analyze the information. Traditional “silioized” approaches to managing data are being challenged by solutions that leverage the cloud to more efficiently gather, integrate, and act upon critical information.
  • New levels of collaboration across the care continuum: Utilizing the Web as a platform provides a lower cost, more ubiquitous method of connecting provider communities as well as linking patients to providers appropriately.
  • Empowering consumers: With better access to information, more transparency, and the ability to retrieve information across a multitude of digital and physical mediums, consumers are more involved in identifying the right channels of care and types of coverage for their individual needs.
  • Cost efficiency: Cloud, the web, and SaaS have made developing the clinical and administrative systems to support healthcare more cost efficient. As these models become even more mainstream in healthcare, hospitals can focus less on building out massive IT infrastructure projects and more on supporting clinical workflows. Legacy systems can be gradually phased out and modern architectural standards will better support necessary integration across the enterprise.

Certainty there are complexities and information sensitivities within healthcare that are more acute than other industries, but as Dr. Collela eloquently stated that “Cloud computing is coming to healthcare… There is no way to stop it.”  With so many stakeholders standing to benefit from this computing paradigm, and with proven delivery points across industries and within healthcare, it is just a matter of time until the cloud moves away from these specialized discussions to become more accepted as mainstream within healthcare.

The evolution of hCloud is a core component to our research agenda for 2011, and will be influencing how our strategic advisory clients think through growth, financing and liquidity strategies in the months ahead. Click here to listen to the audio replay of the web cast; and here to read our most recent publication on hCloud.

We’d like to know what you think. Have a great week!

Scott Donahue
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