Jordan Epstein, CEO, Stroll Health http://strollhealth.com appeared on Capitol Hill before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, http://science.house.gov Subcommittee on Research and Technology at a hearing, titled “Smart Health: Empowering the Future of Mobile Apps” on March 2, 2016.
Stroll Health is a startup based in San Francisco making mobile and web apps used by patients at home and used by providers in a clinical setting. The company’s standalone public patient web app and private provider iOS tablet mobile app are used in the Bay Area to offer radiology imaging services.
In the future, Stroll’s Application Program Interfaces (API) and Software Development Kits (SDK) will be embedded in third party technology used by EMRs, telehealth companies, for clinical decision support, and to provide other consumer facing tools.
Stroll is also raising their first institutional capital from healthcare and technology venture capitalists across the country. So far, Stroll has been supported through private grants and in-kind services from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Google, Microsoft, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, in addition to private angel investors. Stroll has also participated in programs with some of the top universities worldwide.
Epstein told the Committee that private funding alone is not enough. This means that the federal government needs to fill the gap to take best practices and core technology from one field to another, especially in the case of mobile healthcare apps, before they are ready to be commercialized.
A major reason for more funding is that every EMR, PACS, PMSA, and radiology information system needs to have standardized APIs to access patient information and to share data with other providers. These systems need to integrate with a HIE or single standardized data aggregator.
Epstein mentioned how diverse the healthcare app market has become now including consumer wearables, apps so consumers can search for information and tools, the use of telehealth and digital therapeutics, apps for medical grade diagnostics and remote patient monitoring, apps to assist with care coordination along with patient communication and help with patient medical records, apps for to enable workflow, and apps to support clinical decisions.
According to Epstein, apps used for telehealth and digital therapeutics have reached a maturation of the technology and product features. He anticipates a market consolidation that will largely benefit the average consumer. He adds, “While reimbursement changes are needed and should be led by CMS, no further government funding is needed for this type of app.”