Cloud computing offers individuals and businesses a tremendously powerful tool for managing data across multiple devices and physical locations simply and securely.
Dropbox has been a wildly successful startup largely because they were able to harness the power of the cloud and deliver it to consumers using very easy to use tools that integrate seamlessly with the devices they already use on a daily basis.
Atlanta-based Iconic Data (@iconicdata) is a startup emulating the Dropbox model by using cloud computing and mobile devices with the fundamental goal of improving the bottom line of the physician practice.
According to Health Affairs, 62 percent of the 800,000 physicians in the US see their patients in BOTH their office and one or more hospitals. This gives rise to what Iconic Data calls the EMR digital divide between information systems at the hospital in patient point of care and the private practice physician’s billing system. The EMR digital divide requires manual data collection and delivery processes that result in lost charges and increases in accounts receivable.
Iconic Data claims their product, ICON™, is the only mobile solution that fills this hole between the point of care and a physician’s back office operations while also offering
- Cross facility patient census list management
- A personal patient database for physicians which is not currently available across facilities
- Physician sign-out reports for improved safety during patient hand-offs to the on-call physician.
ICON sits in between the various electronic medical records systems a physician may be using at the different in-patient and out-patient facilities at which they practice, bringing secure data liquidity to the information flow between these different records systems and physical locations.
Physicians pay Iconic a monthly fee of $99 to use their service, a modest cost for an application that should pay for itself if it operates in practice as it’s advertised.
Ionic Data also gave iMedicalApps an exclusive sneak preview of their new lite mobile point of care physician billing solution, which they’ve dubbed ‘SwiftPayMD™’. The solution, still in stealth development, is a replacement for billing cards or forms also known as ‘superbills.’
There are literally hundreds of companies leveraging emerging technologies to develop various products and services aimed at improving the delivery and quality of health care, but a precious few are applying technology to improve the underlying business models of the physician practice.
I suspect this will be one area that will get a lot more attention from startups as the digital health sector matures, especially since adoption of these emerging technologies such as cloud computing in health care are largely dependent on physician buy-in. What better way to secure physician buy-in for your products/services than to directly and positively impact the bottom line of their practice?
Co-Founder and CEO David LaBorde not only has six years of experience as a practicing neurosurgeon, but he is also has a Harvard MBA and has spent time working for Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and McKinsey. I had the pleasure to speak with David LaBorde, along with Iconic Data CFO Elliott Holland, recently at the Healthbox digital health accelerator in Chicago where the company is currently in residence as one of the ten members of the inaugural class of startups.
Read the edited transcript of my conversation with David below and see the creative whiteboard video outlining Iconic’s offering following the dialogue. Please share your thoughts on how Iconic’s offering could impact your practice in the comments.
BTE: When were you founded and how many members of the team are there today?
David LaBorde: Jason Faulk and I were the original founders, and we have since added two more team members, one on the business side (Elliott Holland, who also contributed to this conversation) and one on the technical side (Jonny Mai, who sat at his computer silently but for the pounding of his fingers on the keys). The mutual connection is that we are all Georgia Tech guys based out of the Atlanta-area.
BTE: I was very impressed reading through your bio while prepping for this conversation. You have easily one of the most diverse backgrounds of any entrepreneur I have met in the health tech space to date. How do you think your eclectic experience influences you as an entrepreneur?
David LaBorde: I have worn a few hats in my time, and I think the cool thing about this opportunity is where all these pieces come together and I have been waiting for this, you know how they say preparation meets opportunity, and I must say I am really excited about what we have going on.
BTE: What is the inspiration for Iconic Data?
David LaBorde: I think the inspiration or impetus for developing this solution is really borne out of the painful experiences I had as a clinical neurosurgery resident and the frustrations of dealing with solutions that didn’t quite provide what doctors needed. The first thing is a patient list, which is critical when you are standing outside of a patient’s room and you are about to go in and see a patient you don’t know, but you are the attending so you need to get as much information as you can on that patient so you can speak intelligently about their condition.
For instance, a nurse might tell you that a patient’s family has called and wants to ask some questions, the patient list gives you the background information on the patient’s condition you need to have that conversation. Its really just quick bullets and headlines that give simple ‘this is what’s going on’ type of information. The second piece, is that by using ICON™, the physicians create a history of billable episodes of care their office can then use in real time to make sure all charges get captured; this includes procedures and evaluation and management visits.
It is hard to believe, but it is not uncommon for physicians to fail to bill for many of the billable services they provide in the hospital. There are really a lot of hurdles to getting paid for the professional services physicians render.