Get Real Health has built one of the most powerful Health IT toolkits on earth that solves two of the biggest challenges today: reducing healthcare costs and improving patient outcomes.
Get Real Health’s product, InstantPHR™, provides all the tools necessary to build a comprehensive health management portal — including the ability for patients to securely upload, download, view, modify, track, and share their key health data. It has more than 190 widgets — building blocks for use in creating many kinds of personal health applications.
“What we do is needed in every country to help make healthcare more efficient and cost effective,” said President and Founding Partner Robin Wiener. “Our solutions meet the needs of many markets, not only in the U.S. — although our most intense activity is coming from America right now. Government and industry are focused on getting patients involved in their healthcare like never before.”
Get Real Health’s approach to creating customized, quickly-deployable patient engagement solutions is exactly what the market is looking for right now. The company’s clients face a healthcare landscape that has been re-shaped by government incentives as well as by private payers’ imperative to pay for better quality and better health outcomes instead of just more services.
Get Real Health is true to its name, intuitively grasping the realities people face as they try to juggle healthcare issues amid busy lives. Today’s multi-device world means people use their computers, their smartphones, their tablets, together and singly, to access healthcare information at different times, in different places, for different reasons.
“Healthcare consumers today have multiple data doorways through which to access important details, not only about their own health but also their family’s,” said Wiener. “A mother, for example, might use her desktop computer to send a secured email to her own doctor; send her diabetic son to school with a wireless glucometer he can use to share his blood sugar readings with her during the day; and connect in the evening via camera-enabled tablet with her elderly father three states away.”
Get Real Health’s solutions enable that family — and the ecosystem of healthcare providers treating those family members — to participate as partners in their own care. “Patient engagement is the key,” said Wiener. InstantPHR™ works with many different devices including PCs, tablets, smart phones and personal health devices, which means consumers and providers have an unprecedented array of options for communicating, for sharing, for monitoring — for literally integrating proactive healthcare management into patients’ lifestyles.
“We expose all kinds of data from different sources,” said Wiener, “not only on different devices but also from and between different health providers — your doctor, your pharmacy, your testing lab — all in a really nice package so patients can see easy-to-understand data and graphs using easy-to-use interfaces wherever they live.”
What differentiates Get Real Health from its competitors? Get Real built a dynamic platform, not simply a static app.
“It’s very flexible,” explained Wiener. “You can build out a new application in weeks instead of months. One client might need to focus on the meaningful use of personal health records, while another can use the platform to build out its wellness program or a system for managing diabetes or heart disease.”
(In a nutshell, “meaningful use” refers to using electronic health record (EHR) technology to improve health care quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities; engage patients and family; improve care coordination; and maintain the privacy and security of patient health information.)
Get Real Health can work with any EHR system or any clinical data system — which makes it uniquely flexible. The market has embraced Get Real’s approach, as demonstrated by the company’s dramatic growth over the past two years and it’s transformation from a health care professional services company to a product company. “We started with no product,” said CEO and Founding Partner Mark Heaney, “but we moved so rapidly with InstantPHR™ that it is driving the majority of our growth. We more than doubled in size last year.”
Get Real Health’s marketplace impact is also reflected by the collaborative relationships it has enjoyed with some of the leading IT companies in the world. “They’re seeing our value,” said Heaney. “We are combining our revolutionary development process with their years of experience to deliver something really special.”
Get Real Health enhances a lot of other products. For example, when a prospective customer already has a patient portal, Get Real Health’s toolset can extend it to add value and more effectively engage patients. Get Real Health can customize the look, the feel and the user interface so InstantPHR™ can be seamless or very close to the customer’s existing platform. It’s a white-label offering that enables localization so it can be adapted to local populations around the world, fulfilling each client’s needs.
Wiener, Heaney, and CTO and Founding Partner Jason Harmon could have chosen to pursue any path toward tech business success, but they chose the health space because they truly wanted to help revolutionize healthcare.
“Bringing rising healthcare costs under control is the challenge of our generation,” said Heaney. “If this country fails to meet that challenge, America will be an insurance company with an army.”
“We can manage our finances and collaborate with friends and family online,” observed Harmon. “Can’t we do something to help people centralize their healthcare information and access it where and when they need it?”
The partners, who decided to strike out on their own and work together in 2000 when their employer at the time succumbed to a merger-gone-sour, initially formed a company to do Web development work on a consulting basis for a variety of business clients. Then, one of those clients happened to hire them to work on a project that would interface with Microsoft’s HealthVault platform.
The excitement surrounding that launch inspired them to look deep into the soul of their young company. “We thought, ‘wouldn’t it be neat to do something out in the world to help people?'” recalled Wiener. “We found that really exciting.”
Their excitement today comes from the results they’re starting to see with end users. “And we’re making money,” said Heaney. “We were at the right place at the right time for this. It’s clear now that there was so much untapped potential to bring personal computing and mobile technologies to bear on personal health. “
“It’s not easy taking on these challenges, working to overcome entrenched healthcare bureaucracies, dealing with players who want to protect their walled gardens of data, and overcoming fears about privacy,” said Harmon. “But we have surmounted those issues and have shown that we can fundamentally help our society by harnessing the power of connected health systems and mobile devices, creating drastically more effective ways to manage people’s health while simultaneously decreasing healthcare costs.”