Ann Fishman, with EHR TV, interviews Kamal Hashmat, CEO of CureMD.
Ann Fishman: I’m Ann Fishman at HIMSS 2012 with Kamal Hashmat, the founder of CureMD. Thank you.
Kamal Hashmat: Thank you, Ann. It’s wonderful to be here at HIMMS 2012 in Vegas.
Ann Fishman: Great to be with you! And I want to know what caused you to create an organization like this?
Kamal Hashmat: (Laughs) It’s a very interesting question and it’s–– you know, actually CureMD’s mission for the last thirteen years has been–– is to help doctors use the power of the Internet to practice without boundaries. So we were one of the first companies that launched, in the olden days it used to be called ESP application service provider. Now it’s called the cloud computing. It’s in 1997. We were the first company in the nation that has launched the cloud platform. And so that was reason or the mission. It has been the mission for the last thirteen plus years.
Ann Fishman: Tell me about your new product.
Kamal Hashmat: So we are very excited to announce at HIMMS 2012 in Vegas that we–– our CureMD SMART Cloud has the most number of providers now. So we have 3,600 providers on the SMART Cloud platform. So we’ve launched–– formally launched the SMART Cloud platform at MGMA in October. So we had the most number of implementations from the SMART Cloud platform in the shortest period of time. So yes, we are very excited to announce that we have 3,600 providers in that platform.
Ann Fishman: How did you achieve that in such a short period of time?
Kamal Hashmat: With a lot of hard work and a lot of planning. So we deployed some very smart technologies. One of the smart technologies that–– we do the SMART Cloud. It has built-in implementation. So for example, if you’re implementing CureMD at a dermatology practice, it has all the knowledge base that are built-in in a cloud platform. So you can turn on the dermatology system fairly quickly and then go to the training of that. One of the issues that we’d run into is in the fast deployment is the training or the implementation. So we have tried to use cloud-based technologies to rule out the trainings fairly quickly. So that has been very helpful.
Ann Fishman: Tell us about the security issues that are involved with deploying cloud-based services.
Kamal Hashmat: Right. That’s an excellent question. And security has been– with cloud computing, that’s the biggest issue that consumers have, especially the doctors have. So what CureMD introduced in October was that CureMD SMART Cloud with–– we have a new technology which is called the fire shield – which has seven different layers of security built into it. So, you know, and everything’s encrypted when it leaves the doctor’s office. It goes to the cloud and it comes back. So we have that. And there’s a new–– there’s a new feature that we’re launching at HIMMS 2012 which is called the SMART Cloud with fire shield with intrusion detection. So anytime someone–– when the data has been transported back-and-forth from the doctor’s office to the cloud center; it detects any intrusions that are going on and any unfamiliar behavior that consumers can or the doctor’s office can have.
Ann Fishman: Who bears the liability of a breach in security?
Kamal Hashmat: So you know, that’s a–– it’s–– until now because SMART Cloud technology is fairly new, so it’s all coming under the HIPAA PHI rules on the security side. So it’s–– and CureMD, as a vendor, has a relationship or has a business associate agreement with our practices so it’s–– I think it’s the… It’s mutual.
Ann Fishman: So you’re liable. So the doctor’s liable.
Kamal Hashmat: As a business associate.
Ann Fishman: Yes, I agree. That is correct. So you’re increasing the security; you’re now having detection devices. So have there been many security breaches, not for CureMD, but just in the marketplace in general?
Kamal Hashmat: Not that I know of and not that we have heard anything. We have not seen anything. But it’s a big concern when you’re speaking with the doctors about security.
Ann Fishman: Okay, so you’re trying to address that.
Kamal Hashmat: Exactly, we are trying to address that. And we are also spending and investing a lot of money on the SMART Cloud fire shield product line that the features that CureMD has, especially focused on the technology side and on the security side.
Ann Fishman: Okay. And you have mobile–– are you going into the mobile application?
Kamal Hashmat: We love Steve Apple, Steve Jobs, sorry. So what we are doing is we are coming up with some new very exciting iPad applications and iPhone applications. We had in 1999, we launched the CureMD CureMobile devices which is the mobile computing. So now we are re-launching our iPad-based applications.
Ann Fishman: Well, do you think that all of the EMR functionality could be on the mobile devices? Do you see doctors walking around with a phone and practicing medicine?
Kamal Hashmat: I think that’s exactly–– if you look at the adoption, if you look at the iPad adoption, there’s a lot of cognitions have adopted to iPad fairly quickly so it’s all going to be mobile. A few years from today, no one is–– computers or desktop computing is going to be a thing of the past. It’s all going to be about mobile computing devices.
Ann Fishman: When do you think–– when will that be?
Kamal Hashmat: I think in another three to five years.
Ann Fishman: Okay.
Kamal Hashmat: Yes.
Ann Fishman: Do you see any additional security risks with having the EMR functionality solely on the mobile device?
Kamal Hashmat: The–– yes, I mean it’s–– because what we will be doing is not storing a lot of data, Windows devices, right now within CureMD in our R&D section, we have–– we are working with a PhD program. What they are going to be doing is that if you lose your iPhone, so what it will do is it will disable the phone and disable that section of the electronic medical records within CureMD. And then when you get back the phone, so it has the pressure sensitivity built in. So we are working on some of the pressure sensitivity technologies that it’ll actually–– it will feel the pressure that you’re applying on different keys and stuff to know exactly whether it’s you or not.
Ann Fishman: Very interesting.
Kamal Hashmat: So those are some of the very–– yeah, exciting and interesting things that we’re working on mobile platform.
Ann Fishman: How much time does your company have to spend analyzing the regulatory environment?
Kamal Hashmat: A lot of time.
Ann Fishman: Okay.
Kamal Hashmat: So we have a compliant section that’s primarily focused on regulatory compliance and on the security because cloud is all about security.
Ann Fishman: How about Meaningful Use and HIEs and affordable care, do you have to worry about what the government?
Kamal Hashmat: Sure, definitely. I mean today, Meaningful Use has been the driving force for electronic medical records especially within the small physician’s community. So we are very happy to announce that we have some of the – we have most number of providers, security providers have already attained Meaningful Use or they have gotten the stimulus dollars for Meaningful Use.
Ann Fishman: Oh really?
Kamal Hashmat: Yes.
Ann Fishman: Your clients?
Kamal Hashmat: Our clients.
Ann Fishman: Okay, that’s great.
Kamal Hashmat: So in two weeks where we announced Highland Park Medical, they are part of–– they are in East Brunswick, New Jersey, part of Robert Wood Johnson. And so they have gotten $90,000 of stimulus dollars through CureMD for Stage 1.
Ann Fishman: When do you see really widespread adoption of EHR technology?
Kamal Hashmat: I think the EHR technology–– the issue within the EHR technology is the workflow for clinicians. So what we try to do is that the EMR system, the standard EMR systems are dynamic enough that they fit in to the workflow of that clinician. So if I am a gastroenterologist, I have a certain way that I work during the day. So what happens is when most of the systems don’t fit into the workflow of that clinician, so within CureMD, we have come up with some adaptive technology that it will fit into the workflow of that clinician rather than the clinician fitting into the workflow of the EMR. So that’s actually really selling the adoption. A lot of smart vendors are working on the UI – the User Interface of the new EMR systems. So I think the new generation of EMR systems are going to help us improve the adoption.
Ann Fishman: When you say User Interface, are you saying just that it’s more a user friendly?
Kamal Hashmat: Right. When you say User Interface, like for example if you look at the screen; this is called the CureMD Dashboard. So essentially, on the right-hand side; this is your Meaningful Use progress. So within thirty seconds, you can now clearly see exactly the areas that you need to progress, on the areas that you need to work on. So these are some of the smart things that it’s going to be all color-coded, very intuitive, and very simple that the doctors are actually going to, you know…
Ann Fishman: So Kamal, what are the strongest specialties that CureMD works for?
Kamal Hashmat: Yeah. So some of our best known specialty is CureMD Dermatology; so we are–– we’ve been working on CureMD Dermatology for almost seven years now, and Dr Rao who’s a Board-certified dermatologist heads that division for us. So we’re very excited. We are doing a new launch of the advanced features of CureMD Dermatology at AAD, American Academy of Dermatology in San Diego in March. I believe it’s March 16. So next month, we are doing that. So CureMD Dermatology is very extensive, beautiful product line. Then we have CureMD Oncology which has–– we have spent almost ten years in building CureMD Oncology that has chemotherapy regimens built-in, all of the different protocols are built-in. It’s a beautiful product. And then CureMD Cardiology. So these are our three top-selling specialties.
Ann Fishman: Those are your flagships. Tell me in a sentence what is the strength that CureMD has that’s offered to the doctors.
Kamal Hashmat: Yeah. So the CureMD strengths–– our mission has been to provide adaptable, accessible, and affordable technology to every physician. So that has been the cornerstone of CureMD’s growth plan, all the different strategies that we have, so it’s adaptable, accessible, and affordable technology. Today we are deploying our cloud-based computing solutions for less than $400 per doctor per month. It’s all plug-in plates. It’s one the most affordable system. It’s very adaptable, so it adapts into the clinical workflow of that clinician. So we are deploying some very smart technologies that goes through the adaption for the clinicians and then making sure that it’s affordable; adaptable, affordable, and accessible that they can access this information anywhere with their mobile devices and everything else.
Ann Fishman: What would you say the theme of HIMSS 2012 is?
Kamal Hashmat: I think it’s all about mobile computing, so I think that’s really everyone’s talking about – mobile computing, and cloud computing, and Meaningful Use – those are the three things that everyone is talking about.
Ann Fishman: Well Kamal, thank you very much.
Kamal Hashmat: You’re very welcome, Ann. It’s been a pleasure.
Ann Fishman: The founder of CureMD. Thank you.