Emerging companies

First Look - Emerging HCIT Companies Report and Hot Market Segments of 2019

In a market that changes as quickly as healthcare IT, it’s critical to know who the innovators are and what they’re doing. That’s one reason KLAS created our new initiative called eTech. The Emerging HCIT Companies 2018 report is just the beginning of our eTech efforts, but it’s an important beginning.

In our research calls, we ask providers about the hot companies, startups, and markets that providers are thinking about. We keep track of what the providers say, and this report is the culmination of those efforts so far.

With each of the top four areas, we’ll touch on provider concerns, vendor approaches, and some of the most mentioned emerging companies.

Analytics/BI

Analytics and BI are mostly driven by the need for providers to understand the quality of their care and the characteristics of their patient populations. Most providers see analytics and BI as the core of population health.

Providers don’t just want more data; they want to know which information is most important to patient care. They want the needle in the haystack, not just a bigger haystack. Vendors understand that and are interested in creating tools with those capabilities.

Analytics platforms exist on both the clinical and financial sides. Integration with payers is needed for claims and other financial data. There is also a need for EMR integration and siphoning of clinical data. Most vendors cover at least one of those two angles.

Payers are also seeking analytics platforms. Five years ago, there wasn’t much chatter about payer analytics, but that has changed with the shift toward value-based care.

Vendors to Watch

  • Innovaccer’s Data Activation Platform offers a big-picture view of patient care. Within the platform, four products are available that cover a range of capabilities, such as case management, reporting, population health, point-of-care technology, and communication.
  • PatientPing’s solutions can identify risks, access patient information at the point of care, and help providers know what happens to patients when they receive care elsewhere.

Patient engagement

I recently read that organizations experimenting more with risk-based contracts and value-based care models are more likely to adopt innovative tools and work with new vendors. Providers taking on risk need solid strategies, and patient engagement is an important part of population health.

People see patient engagement in many different ways and use many different strategies. Tools can range from email to patient portals to sophisticated platforms that use data from wearables. But most organizations still don’t see patient engagement as a well-defined pillar of population health. KLAS has put together a framework to help people get involved.

Patient portals are no longer the foundation of patient engagement. Providers are looking for better tools. A lot of companies are coming into the market with new and innovative ways to involve patients, such as wearables, home monitoring, and incentive models.

Vendors to Watch

  • InteliChart offers tools to help define populations, automate deliveries, create surveys, and monitor appointments and billing.
  • GetWellNetwork acquired HealthLoop and created getwell Loop, a solution that offers virtual check-ins and digital care management, such as education tracks and patient-driven health tracking.

Physician Experience

Physician burnout is a hot topic, and a lot of companies are looking to help with that. Blaming the EMR and other tools is easy, but KLAS’ research has shown a correlation between physician burnout and a lack of training and understanding of tools. Vendors are working to create tools to help navigate physician software and workflows.

Some tools are overlays that sit on top of the physician workflow so that physicians can view the software more efficiently. Others aid with tasks like documentation. Hopefully these tools help physicians improve their efficiency and spend more time with patients.

Vendors to Watch

  • Suki’s solution, also simply called Suki, is a digital assistant for doctors. It is powered by AI and used with a physician’s voice to help with medical documentation. It’s basically Alexa or Siri for doctors.
  • Augmedix’s product is a remote-scribe solution that is used with Google Glass or a physician’s phone. Data is sent from Google Glass to the virtual scribes to be documented. Using voice commands, physicians can bring up patient data on their phone or on Google Glass in real time.

Revenue Cycle

We are hearing a lot about technologies that help providers better understand their revenue cycle operations and billing processes. With more data comes more billing. More things are documented because everything is typed up and put into a piece of software.

As providers shift toward value-based care, they need platforms to help them understand their relationships with payers, what they as providers are getting paid for, and what they should be getting paid for.

Many people use AI to optimize their revenue cycles. And a lot of BI tools are used for the revenue cycle. The buzz phrase with the revenue cycle right is revenue integrity­—helping ensure that providers get fair payments. 

Vendors to Watch

  • HealthEdge’s HealthRules Payor allows providers to address market opportunities by helping them quickly design and implement any benefit plan or provider contract.
  • Healthcare Bluebook offers online healthcare shopping that aims to improve cost transparency in the healthcare market. Facilities that partner with Healthcare Bluebook can become more visible to patients seeking more affordable care.

Innovative Solutions

Today’s most top-of-mind market segments ultimately come down to providers’ ability to track care and costs more efficiently so they can better care for patients. Providers are eager for solutions, and many vendors are starting to think outside the box to solve achieve those goals. I’m excited to see what these emerging companies can do!


Photo Cred: ASDF_MEDIA