In ancient China, doctors were paid to keep their patients well. If a patient fell ill, the doctor didn’t get paid until they got better. We have gotten used to being continuously connected, so why does healthcare still revolve around an occasional face to face meeting with your doctor when something has already gone wrong?
Avado, which just launched at TechCrunch Disrupt, aims to turn patients from passive health care receivers into active health care partners via its patient relationship management system. Think of it as Mint for healthcare.
The system provides dashboards patients can use to track their health history, including medications, immunizations, lab results and surgeries, and to record vital statistics like weight and blood pressure. Patients can also receive alerts from health care providers to remind them to take medication, track vital signs or attend appointments.
To those familiar with ehealth and mHealth applications, there is is nothing radically new here. Avado’s system is a mashup of electronic health records, remote monitoring and self-tracking. But it does package multiple features into a single system suitable for small to medium-sized clinics and other healthcare practices.
Continuous care is certainly the future. The healthcare system is still designed to manage acute conditions even though chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease consume three quarters of the healthcare budget in the U.S. today. Continuous monitoring of patients with chronic diseases has been shown to reduce mortality by 35-56 percent as well as lowering hospitalization time and numbers of doctor visits. All that saves money in a country where healthcare spending is growing 2 percent faster than GDP each year.
Avado’s business depends on convincing healthcare providers to adopt the system. As a result it’s giving it away for free for the first 12 months. The company will charge later for more advanced features and services. Healthcare is a slow-moving industry, and there are complications such as the fact that care-givers have to maintain the privacy and security of patient information in accordance with HIPAA regulations and the more recent HITECH act, which applies specifically to electronic health data. Avado’s site doesn’t specifically list the security features of the system.
Avado was founded in 2010, has 6 employees and is privately funded.