Dr. Howard Rollins, EHRtv AIMS specialist and medical consultant, interviews Steven Ferguson, Patient Management Officer of Hello Health
Dr. Howard Rollins: This is Dr. Howard Rollins with EHRtv. I am at HIMSS 2012 in Las Vegas and I have the pleasure today of speaking to Mr. Steven Ferguson who is the Patient Management Officer for Hello Health. Steven, Thanks for joining us today.
Steven Ferguson: My pleasure
Dr. Howard Rollins: So here we are at HIMSS. I understand there is some exciting roll out happening right now. Could you tell me a little about it?
Steven Ferguson: Sure. There is a lot of buzz here about QUALCOMM Life and their tune up product. It is an interesting device because what they’ve done is they have realized that there will be a weakness in the wireless market because all of these devices transmit their signals via different radio wave lengths. And so within one device now there able to grab all that information and do something useful with it.
Dr. Howard Rollins: So tell me how that translates to real life.
Steven Ferguson: So in a real life setting, what vendors of devices will be able to, and when I say devices I mean monitoring devices like a blood pressure monitor, a glucometer, a weight scale.
Dr. Howard Rollins: In the home?
Steven Ferguson: In the home. It could be in the clinic but I see a lot of application for the home. People will take this device home, plug it into any outlet and this device will transmit the data from their monitoring device, put that in the cloud and then it can be grabbed from the cloud and displayed to them in a portal or in some sort of safe secure way that they can go ahead and access it on line.
Dr. Howard Rollins: So if a person has multiple devices that are made by different companies this can all bring it together and put it to the cloud. Is that what you are saying?
Steven Ferguson: Actually that’s the point. So, the minute that you have more than one monitor from more than one company you don’t have to go to two different places for that information. This way it becomes aggregated and it can be presented to you in one spot. And you have one device that captures the data from both devices or more than that.
Dr. Howard Rollins: So to clarify for me, TrueNet is actually a QUALCOMM product...
Steven Ferguson: It is.
Dr. Howard Rollins: And Hello Health’s contribution for that product is
Steven Ferguson: We are a software company. We have an offering for small physician practices. We have been working with QUALCOMM for a while now, so what we have done with TrueNet and QUALCOMM Life is to develop a front end that takes that data from those different devices and displays it in one dashboard. So we have built a sensor dashboard, what you see here behind me.
Dr. Howard Rollins: I see. Can you speak a little about security? Is it encrypted?
Steven Ferguson: The data is encrypted so there are no security issues there. It is the same level of encryption that you would find at your banking web site.
Dr. Howard Rollins: I See. Now how will this impact the physician? How is this going to be received?
Steven Ferguson: That is an interesting question. I think, I see some unique applications up front in like corporate settings for example. Companies that self insure are looking at ways of avoiding cost. If they can distribute these devices to their work force and then realize gains because you get a healthier work force because of it, I think you will see physicians related to those types of groups happy to be working with that data. For Small independent physicians, I think we will have to start by introducing this to the patients and getting the patients used to it, giving patients access to it and then finding a model where it makes sense for the physicians to also see that data and take action and help guide the patient.
Dr. Howard Rollins: So there are a few challenges but it does not sound like it is anything that’s insurmountable.
Steven Ferguson: No, like anything I think we will go through a little bit of a learning curve to figure out how to best deploy this and wrap a business model around it but we will definitely get it there. There are some doctors that are definitely excited about this sort of technology.
Dr. Howard Rollins: Now, Hello Health has a core business. This is not it. Tell me a little bit about Hello Health.
Steven Ferguson: So, the Hello Health business is that we provide a suite of software tools and services to small physician practices. Most of our practices today are in the primary care space but it is a bit of a different model in that it is a patient subscription model that drives the revenue for the physician and the revenue for Hello Health.
Dr. Howard Rollins: OK elaborate on that.
Steven Ferguson: So the small physician practice has been a hard nut to crack. They are one doctor, two doctor shops. They are really small independent businesses and so what they are looking for is a partner not necessarily a vendor. And Hello Health goes into these practices and partners with them, in that we help them get on line with this technology, train them, implementation and it does not cost the practice anything. The practice starts to use it and data gets put into the MR and now there is a portal now where patients can go and have access to communication tools, lab results, prescription renewal and there is no value attached to that. And for a small annual fee patients will pay to have access to premium service and that is what drives the model for both the practice and then for us.
Dr. Howard Rollins: Are you live with this model currently?
Steven Ferguson: Yes, we have a couple of business sites live today and a nice back log growing as well.
Dr. Howard Rollins: I would like to thank you for spending time talking with me, it was a pleasure meeting you.
Steven Ferguson: Thank you.
Dr. Howard Rollins: Howard Rollins for EHRtv, Steven Ferguson. Thank you very much.