Patient Engagement, Health IT

ContextMedia CEO describes healthcare decision support growth

ContextMedia CEO Rishi Shah also said startups play an important role in how the company is evolving.

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This week, ContextMedia acquired AccentHealth, marking the consolidation of two sizeable healthcare content providers, according to a news release. The deal underscores the interest in digitizing content to support primary care and specialist physicians in ambulatory care settings to help patients understand and improve their condition by boosting patient engagement and health literacy.

The acquisition grows their business to 55,000 practices, the news release said. Previously ContextMedia worked with 30,000 locations. The terms of the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year, were not disclosed.

The company’s products include digital screens in practice waiting rooms that can deliver relevant healthcare content while patients wait. The company also provides physicians with an app that helps them deliver personalized content to patients and an interactive exam room tablet. There’s also a larger interactive digital exam wall board that can help physicians give patients a 3-D perspective on their illness and treatment options.

ContextMedia CEO Rishi Shah told MedCity News in a phone interview that the company’s interactive content is designed for decision support at the point of care. Those decisions can include which drug to prescribe, working with patients to understand the impact of their lifestyle on chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes and other decisions.

“We are the nervous system that connects patients and providers,” Shah said. “We are moving from an age of information to an age of intelligence.”

Shah said ContextMedia is also enthusiastic about working with startups — they play an important role in how the company is evolving, Shah observed. WiserCare is one example — it uses questionnaires based on a patient’s disease to help them decide which treatment is best for them based on their personal preferences. The company integrates WiserCare’s decision support tools with ContextMedia’s platform.

ContextMedia expanded into clinical trials earlier this year. It’s not surprising that more technology companies in the realm of patient engagement would spot opportunities to expand in this sector considering the level of need, particularly to improve the patient recruitment process in clinical trials. This is frequently the most time-consuming part of clinical trials and the costliest.