Get Real Consulting: health care a click away
By Nick Sohr, Managing Editor, MDbizMedia
Cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, mental illness, diabetes — Get Real Consulting has an app for all that.
The health IT company in Rockville builds digital bridges between doctors and patients, allowing caregivers to monitor patient health between visits and head off problems before they grow too serious.
The software also allows patients keep an eye on their own metrics, such as blood pressure readings and blood sugar levels, and stay on a healthy path.
Get Real’s InstantPHR system — PHR, for personal health record — has driven the company to triple-digit growth.
“We’ve tripled our income from last year,” Robin Wiener, Get Real’s president and co-founder, said during an interview in early April.
By that, she means Get Real — the company plans to drop “Consulting” from its name soon — brought in three times as much revenue in the first three months of 2012 as it did in all of 2011.
And Wiener expects more of the same.
Get Real and partner TELUS, the Canadian telecommunications giant, signed a deal in January to roll out InstantPHR to 3.5 million people in the province of Alberta.
Wiener estimates the software platform now has between 300,000 and 400,000 end users.
It is used by hospital systems around the world, including Columbia’s MedStar Health, government agencies and nonprofits such as the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and AARP.
Wiener said Get Real is getting ready to sign two more hospital systems and has another “58 different opportunities” in the pipeline, including governments, health exchanges and a dozen more hospital systems.
Those potential customers would take InstantPHR to Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Scandinavia and other far-flung locales.
“No matter where you are in the world, everybody is looking for better [healthcare] outcomes,” Wiener said. “That saves governments, insurance companies and everybody money.
“There are new rules and regulations really forcing hospitals to look at outcome reporting. There are new mandates saying that if a person comes back with the same problem within 31 days, there’s a chance the hospital won’t be paid for it because they didn’t manage that person [correctly]. This is a way to manage their population.”
InstantPHR’s customizable platform facilitates that care management by collecting and tracking data in the ever-growing pool of digitally stored health information. Some 120 different widgets can be mixed and matched on a patient’s page to display the pertinent details.
Doctors’ offices and hospitals can input data directly and the system can also pull other data automatically, such as blood pressure readings taken by the machines at drug stores.
InstantPHR shows the patient where they’re doing OK and where they need work. It can also remind them to take their medicine or avoid salty foods and will send alerts to doctors, parents and other caregivers if it detects a problem.
Patients can also input their own information on a computer or smartphone.
“Just click, click, click, done,” said Wiener. “That information flows from our system up to the clinical system. The doctors can watch and see how you’re doing. They can actually send responses and say ‘You know what, it seems like you’re having a hard time right now, let’s get in and have an appointment.’ Or, ‘I’m looking at your sugar levels and they seem a bit erratic. Let’s come in and talk a little bit and maybe change your medicine.’”