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HL20: Rebecca Lynn—Investing in Innovation, from the Outside

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, December 13, 2011

"The only way to get the data is through an EMR—an electronic medical record—that's automatically populated by your physician, by the labs, and by pharma companies," she says. "In order to get the data it's got to be in the cloud and then in order to get access [and] widespread distribution, it has to be free. One thing we've learned is that doctors pay for nothing. It's not a slam against doctors it's just a fact of life."

Lynn was looking to invest in a company that would meet her requirements—an EMR that would be easy to access and populate with data and with a business model that wouldn't scare docs away. She says she found what she was looking for in PracticeFusion, a free, web-based EMR with an open application programming interface that grants access to other applications.

PracticeFusion faced a common problem for startups trying to break into the healthcare business—a painfully long lead time to get products into use. Startups also often struggle to find a business model that will appeal to healthcare organizations—especially those docs who don't want to pay for anything.

Startups must get creative when it comes to revenue models. Offer the product for free and it will "take off like wildfire," she says.
Although they may not be willing to enter their healthcare details on their own, patients, Lynn predicts, will be increasingly responsible for their own tests and procedures. "It sounds scary but it's happening and should continue to happen," she says.

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