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Cloud storage startup Box is pushing into the health care vertical, regulatory challenges and all.

Box’s team has spent a year researching the space and ensuring that the product is HIPPA compliant. The team is aware of the challenges reaching the target market — physicians and health administrators have tread carefully with it comes to new cloud-based technology.

“We want Box to be the cloud solution to manage all content in the health care sector,” said Box CEO Aaron Levie (pictured, above) in a phone interview. Levie lists myriad use cases; physicians can use Box to access your medical information from their iPads, and researchers can use its collaboration tools to share sensitive information.

In fact, over the past year, box sales in the health care industry grew 81 percent. The company claims to have hundreds of customers in this sector, including  Henry Ford Health System, Beaumont Health System, HealthTrust Europe, and Johns Hopkins HealthCare Solutions.


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In the past, the most sensitive records were stored on film, tape, and paper charts. But as data gets digitized, hospitals, physician practice groups, software and hardware companies, consulting firms, and affiliated health care organizations are grappling with how to keep it secure.

However, a positive sign for cloud vendors is that doctors and health administrators routinely use tools like Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox in their personal lives but do not use these tools to share patient information. Security breaches at hospitals are an ongoing problem.

For this reason, Levie sees a major opportunity for a highly-secure cloud company to succeed in the health industry. “Basic file sharing is very challenged,” he explained.

And with a health care push in mind, Box made a strategic investment in DrChrono, a tablet-friendly electronic medical record (EMR) provider, and is working closely with the team. This is just one of many partnerships the company expects to strike with health care IT vendors. Other current partners include Medigram, TigerText, Doximity, and HealthTap.

The company has also brought on Missy Krasner, Morgenthaler Ventures’ executive in residence, who was one of the founding members of Google Health. Krasner said a “simple and elegant solution” like Box is often optimal for doctors; a lesson she learned at Google.

“Doctors want the ease and simplicity and horizontal nature of tools like Box and Google Drive,” Levie said in agreement.

Box is also exploring other verticals, such as financial services. While it does not intend to build a full vertical solution for health, it hopes developers and partners will want to team up and use Box’s platform to build more sophisticated applications and tools.

Aaron Levie photo via Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat

Interested in learning more about how cloud companies can jump into health care? Aaron Levie is a keynote speaker at our upcoming HealthBeat conference on May 20 and 21. 

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