This weekend nine members of the Zivtech staff are participating and competing in Startup Weekend Health Philadelphia 2013, which, according to their site, "centers on building a web or mobile application that could be the basis for a credible business. After 500+ Startup Weekends world-wide, this will be the first dedicated solely to healthcare’s unique problems.”
We have three main reasons for bringing a crew to Startup Weekend Health. The most important of which is potentially a huge shift for us and we are hoping to recruit advisors as well as people who’d like to “audition” to work with us. We are especially interested in working with MDs, readmission specialists, and people who have experience in enterprise sales cycles in general, and provider/government healthcare sales in particular- so please come talk to (or email) me if that’s you and you want to be a part of the efforts that I lay out below.
Evangelizing Open Source Software
We are big proponents of Open Source Software, specifically Drupal, Sass, Node.js, Solr, etc. We believe that OSS provides enormous benefits to businesses of all age and size, and we’re going to make our developers available for questions and assistance relating to Drupal and OSS. If you have questions about the capabilities of OSS or would like a little help building a Drupal site for your startup idea, please ask one of us, we’re happy to help.
Technical Cofounder as a Service (TCaaS)
We are looking for potential partners for a new service we’re calling “Technical Cofounder as a Service (TCaaS)”. We have extensive experience building technical infrastructure for startups, and we are looking to continue to partner with startups to help them tackle some problem/vertical. If you have a great idea, a lot of relevant domain experience, and you’d like a long-term technical partner, we’d love to talk. Please e-mail me at email@example.com if you’d like to discuss this option.
Introducing... Liv IT
We will be working on, and hopefully launching, our new healthcare-focused subsidiary, Liv IT (or Liv IT Health), which will be our attempt to turn some of the powerful healthcare tools that we’ve created into an enterprise business. Liv IT will be focused on using a combination of Software-as-a-Service/cloud applications and OSS to bring the power of the Internet to bare on the healthcare industry, where it seems to have barely begun to infiltrate. We believe that technology is an important part of the solution to our nation’s out-of-control healthcare costs, and we intend to be a part of that solution.
The initial application that we are launching under the Liv IT label is part patient monitoring system and part population management system/EMR. At it’s most basic level, it connects with wireless and bluetooth enabled devices in a patient’s home and monitors the data for abnormal/unhealthy measurements as well as non-compliance with defined treatments. We believe that there are immediate opportunities for this type of software in the post-acute care space, where hospitals recently started being punished by Medicare for high readmission rates, and in enabling remote patient-centered care services (to Medicare and Medicaid patients). To get an idea of how big the readmission problem is in post-acute care, it is estimated that Medicare spends ~$12-billion per year on medically unnecessary readmissions, and initial pilots have shown a reduction from ~25-50% in the most common high-readmission diseases (heart failure readmissions are currently at ~25%, heart attacks are at ~20%). As the old quote goes "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you're talking real money."
We also believe that we can compete with traditional EMRs, readmission specialists, as well as integration and payment/reimbursement specialists, but we believe the readmissions and management of medicaid/medicare patients is a more immediate need. As we create integrations and additional tools we will consider selling those as their own services and/or releasing them as Open Source Software, when appropriate.
We will have several developers, designers, and project managers working on re-architecting and scaling Liv IT, as well as examining and readdressing assumptions that were baked into the first version of the system. We will also be working on new integrations - focusing on Fitbit integration via a Fitbit Drupal module - as well as improving the system’s interfaces.
But... while we see many opportunities for creating enterprise businesses using the tools we have and/or will create, we don’t really know how we are going to make that transition. My hope is that by the end of the weekend we’ll have not only a better product and a website for Liv IT, but also a much clearer picture of how to move this new part of our business forward.