Madison’s burgeoning health tech community is recovering from the big Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, or HIMSS, annual conference, held earlier this month in Chicago.
The huge confab drew more than 43,000 people and in addition to electronic health records giant Epic Systems Corp., of Verona, at least 13 other local health information technology businesses attended, exhibited and networked.
They are: Branch2; Catalyze; CenterX; Forward Health Group; healthfinch; Kiio; Moxe Health; Nordic Consulting; Propeller Health; Redox; Symphony Corp.; Wellbe; and WITS (MD).
Their products range from Propeller Health’s asthma monitoring device to Kiio’s system for tracking physical therapy gains.
Their services include Wellbe’s Guided CarePaths to help patients engage in post-surgical recovery plans and Forward Health Group’s PopulationManager to analyze big health data and use it to drive better outcomes.
Together, the 13 local health IT companies:
Employ more than 700 people in the Madison area, including 79 hired in the past year.
Brought in more than $139 million in revenue in 2014.
Raised more than $34 million from investors in the last 12 months.
Serve 320 health care clients nationwide.
Those figures — again, not counting Epic, with nearly $1.8 billion in revenue in 2014 and about 8,000 employees — were compiled by Maeghan Nicholson, marketing director for Wellbe.
“Madison (aka Med-ison) has put itself on the map as a place for health care innovation, with growing companies solving big problems and an expanding pool of capital available to entrepreneurs,” Mark Bakken, co-founder and chairman of Nordic Consulting, the nation’s biggest Epic consulting firm, said in a written statement.
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“Entrepreneurs are making healthcare more affordable while also making it safer and getting better outcomes. Madison is helping lead the charge,” said Bakken, who recently stepped down as CEO of Nordic to start his own health IT venture capital firm, Madison HealthX Ventures.
Wellbe’s Nicholson said the Madison firms did some collaborating at the massive HIMSS confab, which occupied both wings of the McCormick Place convention center.
“We had a health tech innovation bar at the Nordic booth, where Wellbe, Catalyze and Forward Health Group all took part,” she said.
“It was certainly nice to have the support of the bigger organizations for smaller ones.”
Healthfinch, whose products help simplify clinical tasks for physicians, such as prescription renewals, was among the local companies that doubled the size of their booths in the exhibit hall this year. Healthfinch also hosted a party for key customers for the first time, marketing director Karen Hitchcock said. Both moves reflect the growth that healthfinch and some of the other local health IT businesses are showing, she said.
Heathfinch chief operating officer Sanaz Cordes was invited to speak at two expert panels at the conference.
“That was big for us as a small company in Madison,” Hitchcock said. “We had people come pouring into our booth after she spoke.”
Cordes, who also is a physician, moved to Madison from Los Angeles in January 2014 to join healthfinch.
Hitchcock said she has seen a shift in attitudes toward Madison’s health IT community.
This year, “nobody that talked to us at HIMSS said, ‘Oh, Madison? That’s pretty far out of the way.’
“All the work to put Madison on the map is starting to gain some traction,” Hitchcock said.