Health IT Startup: TapCloud

TapcloudTapCloud creates a real-time stream of data that enables care teams to quickly grasp whether a patient is getting better or worse, assess the effectiveness of treatments and medications and identify the onset of emerging complications. TapCloud is currently being used in settings from single practitioner to national hospital systems.

 

Elevator pitch

TapCloud allows patient’s and provider’s to communicate in ways never before possible to improve the doctor/patient relationship, focus clinicians on patients that need the most attention and insure that the patients that require services receive them in a timely manner to maximize health benefits to the patient (including quality of life, not just physical issues) and minimize the expenditure of health resources.

Product/service description

TapCloud is a solution for gathering key patient information in between clinical visits. There are two parts to the TapCloud solution: a patient facing instructional and information collecting APP and a web-based clinician dashboard. Typical use is for patients to follow/consume their provider-based care plan/educational info and enter their well-being, pain levels, symptoms, side effects, medication compliance and vitals into the APP (unique design allows patients to complete this in less than 1 minute per day). This information is then presented in a comprehensive dashboard that allows clinicians to rapidly interpret key insights into a patients overall well-being. Based on this patient reported information, clinical protocols will dictate if any specific patient needs to be seen, have a home health visit or meds adjusted, etc.

Origin story

Tom Riley
Tom Riley

Our CEO, Tom Riley, is a former health insurance executive who spent the past 25 years living at the intersection of healthcare and technology. A few years ago, after his mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, his experience with the healthcare system became much more personal as he became a primary caregiver for her. During that time he attended office visits with his mom on a regular basis, and discovered that there is an inherent gap in communications between the way doctors organize/accept information from patients, and the way patients organize and deliver information to their doctors and other clinical staff.

Over and over again, he found himself serving as a translator between his mom and her doctors. He would help his mom by creating easy to understand checklists of things she was supposed to be doing each day, activity, medications, etc. And he would help the doctors by keeping track of his mom’s symptoms and watching for developing complications and then making sure that the information was shared during her appointments. It frequently made a significant impact on the diagnosis of issues, and the assessment of treatment effectiveness. It also helped his mom regain a measure of “quality of life” by making sure that even non-critical complications like chronic constipation were identified and addressed.

After his mom passed away, he decided to devote his time to taking what he had learned first-hand and developing a solution to improve patient-doctor communications in acute-care settings like post-surgical recovery and chemotherapy and since has morphed into a chronic disease management solution as well. TapCloud runs on smart-phones and tablets and includes personalized services for the patient, helping them organize and customize generic discharge/care plan instructions into a personalized daily plan for them to follow. At the same time, the technology uses a sophisticated, but incredibly easy to use, interface to probe for indications of developing complications and/or medication side-effects. It allows clinicians to effectively monitor patient progress remotely and focus their attention on the right patients. It also ensures that doctors are aware of all of the issues affecting a patient, not just the life-threatening ones that have their patients end up in the ED or admitted to the hospital without them even realizing their patients were experiencing any issues.

Marketing/promotion strategy

As you know, it is extremely difficult to sell to healthcare without experience, knowledge and contacts. The managing director of 1776, the innovation studio in DC/Baltimore said it best, when he stated at 2014’s Mobile Health Summit that, “90 percent of his time was not developing/proving the value of healthcare innovations, but in figuring out how to educate his entrepreneurs on how to pitch/sell it to healthcare.” Having 20 years in healthcare, Tom (our CEO), has abundant knowledge selling to healthcare. He has also hired a seasoned group of business development professionals, that not only have the knowledge of how to sell to healthcare (providers, payers, pharma), but also the vast rolodex to make it happen. Additional current marketing initiatives include: case studies, email marketing, webinar campaigns on re-admission reduction, ACO/at risk contracting administration, chronic disease management, patient engagement, social media, etc.

Market opportunity

ACOs (accountable care organizations, both government and commercial), MSSP (Medicare shared savings programs), bundled payments (starting with Ortho Procedures), Medicare Advantage, re-admission penalties, chronic care management (CCM). These and many more are part of the movement to VBP (value base purchasing) or risk based contracting. Depending on who you quote, Medicare wants to be 80 percent there by 2018. Commercial insurers are not far behind, stating 2020 as their target year. Given the slow pace of change in healthcare, this is meteoric change. Given a figure of 80 percent of healthcare compensation will have some type of value-based compensation payers/providers will be spending large amounts of capital to looking at ways to reduce/minimize healthcare expenditures (that is where TapCloud presents a solution). There are thousands of healthcare APPS out there (and studies show that they are often used for 30 days or less). However, very few APPS provide the clinical interface necessary to be of actual clinical benefit to a patient and their providers. As noted by the media, most healthcare APPS are targeted at the wealthy and well, not the sickest of the sick that TapCloud targets because that is how we will be able to bend the healthcare cost curve. Other APPS typically don’t provide the data a clinician can use to manage the overall care provided to a patient to insure that the care is provided in the most cost effective manner (adjust meds, physician office visit vs. ED/Inpatient admission, etc.). Add to this CMS’ recent reimbursement for monthly monitoring of patients with multiple chronic diseases and the increasing State (and ultimately federal) reimbursement of tele-monitoring (not just for rural patients) of patients makes for a huge market

How your company differentiates itself from the competition

There are TapCloud competitors of all different sizes and market niches. Do they provide the complete solution that TapCloud does? All in an easy to use APP that the patient can complete in less than a minute a day and a clinician can consume in less time than it takes for them to wash their hands?  No other APP is even close to what TapCloud offers:  Elegance, ease of use/efficiency (for both patient and clinician), patient engagement without becoming experts on their disease/medications, clinical relevance of patient reported health information, real-time information relative to a patient’s condition never before available in a format that is easily consumable by a healthcare provider in order to quickly identify patients that need immediate assistance vs. routine follow up. Also, TapCloud offers a single application to cover multiple conditions. Therefore, an organization does not have to purchase a separate solution for every condition (CHF, COPD, Diabetes, Readmission Reduction, etc.).  TapCloud is a single solution/vendor that addresses all of a healthcare organization’s needs in this space.

Business model

Other than start up/training costs, monthly fees based on patient usage.  The service is primarily paid for by users from re-admission reduction savings, Medicare Advantage/ACO/MSSP savings either by the payer or provider.

Current needs

TapCloud is always looking for good employees (especially implementation staff across the US). TapCloud is currently investigating multiple avenues for additional funding, but also continuing to grow organically through a variety of sales opportunities.

Expansion model

TapCloud’s current contracts and organic growth will provide sufficient expansion opportunity, but additional funding will allow growth acceleration given the current attention being focused on this space. 

When founded

May 2013

Number of full-time employees

12

Headquarters

Northbrook, IL

 

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