Health IT, Hospitals

Redox adds first health system customer with Brigham Health deal in push to expand interoperability

“We’re eager to be better partners to our colleagues at digital health startups and large vendors alike,” said Dr. Adam Landman, Brigham and Women’s Hospital CIO.

Redox Engine, a health IT business focused on reducing the friction caused by hospitals integrating new technology and supporting interoperability, has tended to be paid by the health vendors that use its cloud-based API service to get in front of patients and clinicians. But the Madison, Wisconsin-based business is poised to expand that business model with the addition of its first hospital customer — Brigham Health, which includes Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization.

The deal will centralize Brigham Health’s application integration strategy in the cloud, Skievaski noted in the news announcement.

Dr. Adam Landman, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Chief Information Officer, said the deal would help the institution work more efficiently with digital health startups and other health IT vendors.

“We’re eager to be better partners to our colleagues at digital health startups and large vendors alike,” Landman said. “This platform will allow us to efficiently and securely share information and data that are essential to supporting the development of novel technologies that have the potential to ultimately improve the care of our patients.”

The hope is that others will quickly follow. In a phone interview, Redox Cofounder and President Niko Skievaski said the company expects to roll out similar deals with other healthcare organizations it is currently in talks with, but could not offer a timeline for when those would-be customers would go live.

Looking back on the evolution of the business, Skievaski recalled that Gauss Surgical was its first customer, but has since expanded to work with more than 150 companies, all of them health IT vendors spanning digital health startups to more mature companies. Although it works with many health systems, it is by virtue of its health vendor customers.

“We have always spoken with health systems and we’ve built relationships there, but the app developers have always paid us,” Skievaski said. “We were not trying to change our [business] model but Brigham came to us,” and specifically approached its CTO James Lloyd. 

Skievaski said he’s noticed a shift in how hospitals are thinking about technology integration in the past few years. The push and pull of health vendors working with health systems have frequently required entrepreneurs to pare down their vision to the point where their technology innovations only amount to introducing incremental changes, Skievaski noted in a blog post.  He also pointed out that the nature of the longer sales cycles in healthcare has meant that new technology integration can become a costly, time-consuming process for health systems and vendors.

They know they won’t be able to move the needle if they can’t figure out how to efficiently adopt technology that will bring transformative change. The shift to value-based care is applying further pressure to innovate. Taking on risk means efficiency is the name of the game. And as patients shop, differentiating by creating delightful (and often tech-enabled) experiences is becoming key to keeping patients engaged and within the network.

Now there is more thought about the hospital’s technical infrastructure and figuring out how to onboard new technology more efficiently to run pilots and more easily measure results.  Another priority is how to make sure their system is sophisticated enough to keep up with innovation to ensure efficient technology integration, Skievaski said.

The deal with Brigham and Women’s Hospital dovetails with changes the company has made in response to health systems. When Redox kicked off the year by closing a $9 million Series B round, Skievaski said at the time that the company would use the funding to add components to its platform in support of new health system enterprise users. He noted that the move reflected the evolution of the business to embrace more than the developers who originally accounted for many of its users.

Photo: chombosan, Getty Images