The frenzy for lightweight, cost-efficient and scalable mobile and other cloud-based applications is making its way through the disruption-ready healthcare industry, and it’s missing a dominant marketplace through which hospitals and other service providers can access them and sell their own.
That’s right about where Analytical Infomatics aims to have its impact, said cofounder and CEO Chris Meenan (@cmeenan) at a speaker series this morning. Put on by the University of Maryland Biopark, the event was also included in Baltimore Innovation Week.
“We want to do change-the-world kind of stuff,” said Meenan, the engineer turned Johns Hopkins MBA student who speaks with a liveliness and an affable informality.
Meenan’s presentation to more than a dozen inside a modern, ground-floor UMB building with big glass windows looking out on busy Baltimore Street, as students, researchers and construction workers hustled by, was the first in a proposed series called Startups and Spinouts Collaboration Series @ The BioPark. The series will feature startups incubated at the university, which currently houses Meenan, who is on the radiology department there.
“We have great entrepreneurial spirit here at the Biopark, and we’re trying to grow into the rest of campus,” said Phil Robilotto, the head of the University of Maryland’s technology transfer program. “There is as much interest in entrepreneurship locally, statewide and beyond than ever before, so we want to highlight what is already here to encourage more.”
The startup conversation local to the broad-sweeping healthcare industry has its peculiarities, highlighted Meenan:
- Clinicians are overwhelmed with access to loads of new data but struggle to find what’s most relevant in the time-compressed settings.
- The capital intensive, longterm contract nature of that market is changing and budget-strapped institutions are seeking lower-cost, iterative services.
- Longterm trending healthcare information, like how many patients with a certain disease visited last year, is more and more commonplace, but the new interest is in real time, like how many CT scanners are available and what have they been used for today.
- Healthcare providers are developing software and other technologies to solve problems that are often seen at other institutions.
Meenan, along with cofounders Mark Daly, Christopher Toland and Max Warnock (pictured at top, left to right) came together in 2004 from commercial IT backgrounds, and they threw everything at the wall, developing more than 30 small applications to address specific issues in their initial months.
But all the upkeep got messy and many projects failed to lift.
So, in the past couple years, the Analytics Informatics crew has developed a small coalition of institutions that want to share and sell their internal applications. Meenan and team want to provide the tools, the place and the customer base to scale healthcare apps — yes, something like what Apple’s App Store and the Amazon Marketplace have done for more consumer-facing efforts.
“We also need to bring in the programmers and developers who are focused elsewhere to take a look at healthcare,” said Meenan, with faded light brown hair, glasses and a light goatee. “They have a lot of lessons about launching easy-to-deploy apps that fill a need.”
So while Analytics Informatics is still developing small apps themselves, the team is focused on the platform and marketplace for others. They’re intending on offering a subscription model with access to many applications, which are being developed by a handful of universities, all of whom can sell across the platform, make money by giving a small cut to Analytics Informatics.
“We’re really disruptive,” said Meenan. “And Baltimore is a great place to be building this, or, really, any startup.”