At the end of a healthcare transaction, Tonic can collect feedback and assess patients' satisfaction regarding their experiences.
"Hospital reimbursement is now tied to patient satisfaction and quality of care outcomes," says Lanier. "We're the perfect tool to do that because we've created this patient engagement." Tonic can also help healthcare professionals use data in ways that they never could when it was being collected on paper. In addition to screening, tracking, and segmenting populations, some physicians are beginning to use the data for research purposes.
In fact, according to Lanier, he developed the idea for Tonic when he was working for a market research firm called Chatter that had a large number of healthcare clients. At the time, the University of California was attempting to link all its breast health clinics as part of a data mining exercise to combine clinical care with research. The physician in charge of the project wanted to create a huge data set to research breast cancer. When Lanier asked the physician how she would collect the data, she responded by showing him a stack of questionnaires as thick as a phone book. He began wondering what the questionnaires would look like on a tablet,and the idea behind Tonic was born.
Although the product launched recently, Lanier says Tonic has garnered interest from practices of all sizes and specialties. "It seems like this is an acute problem across all of healthcare and that it is applicable in many types of situations," he says.