Mana Health: Analog Health Records Turned into Digital Dashboards

For years we’ve been hearing about the promise of electronic health records. I for one look forward to the day when I don’t have to write my name, address, social security number, and health insurance ID on 10 separate forms on each visit to a new doctor. We may finally be getting closer.

With the passage of the HITECH (Health Information Technology and Clinical Heatlh) Act in 2009, the federal government committed to funding the transition to digital medical records, pouring money into state and regional programs.

Across the river from me in New York State, for example, there’s the New York eHealth Collaborative, which is making EHR a reality. They have the grand goal of allowing doctors, hospitals, and patients to look up health information on the Intertoobz rather than having to thumb through manilla folders to read medical scribbles.

And wouldn’t you know it, there’s a local startup behind the eHealth Collaborative’s initiative. Mana Health is a graduate of the NYU-Poly Incubator program, and they recently were chosen as the first place winner of the Collaborative’s Patient Portal Design Challenge. You can see some of their design work in the medical dashboard above– there’s more on their pitch deck.

Holy Hippocrates! I had to blink a few times when looking at the UI. Finally, someone has decided that our private health data deserves just as good, and to my eyes a far better design layout than what has been worked out long ago for webified business data– sales, revenues, web stats, and all that other biz stuff.

The idea is that eventually New York residents will be able to both view their data on a browser and then selectively share with doctors and hospitals–in other words, no more filling out the same information on each interaction with the health system.

This week I had the opportunity to chat with Mana Health’s CEO, Chris Bradley. One of the exciting parts of their software is that patients will ultimately access existing data that’s stored in hospital databases. Chris told me that Mana Health will connect to what are called “health information exchanges“, which is a network of databases (funded by HITECH) for the sharing of patient data. Note: this is different from the health insurance exchanges.

For now, Mana Health is working with the HIE in New York as well as one in San Antonio. Obviously, there’s lot more medical data nationwide than in just those two markets–so the startup has the potential to be in front of millions of eyeballs. In any case, patients using Mana Health’s webware will be able to view their data without having to enter anything new. The paper medical form may go the way of the house call!

For the record, I did ask about health data privacy issues, which is an obsession of mine on another channel. Bottom line: the HIE’s are covered by HIPAA, and companies such as Mana Health must use cloud services that are HIPAA compliant.