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HIStalk Interviews Laurens van der Tang, CEO, VitalHealth Software

February 3, 2016 Interviews No Comments

Laurens van der Tang is CEO of VitalHealth Software of Minneapolis, MN.

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Tell me about yourself and the company.

VitalHealth was founded by Mayo Clinic and Noaber Foundation from the Netherlands. We deliver a cloud platform that efficiently captures patient-centered outcome data for quality improvement and cost reduction. We are healthy and growing, selling our solutions in the US, Europe, China, and India. Already more than 120,000 healthcare professionals use our software, and that number is growing rapidly.

I’m the CEO of the company and have been since the start.

Was intellectual property from Mayo Clinic licensed to VitalHealth? Do they have ongoing involvement with the product?

Mayo Clinic has been and still is very involved as launch customer and development partner. Mayo licensed intellectual property related to point-of-care decision support. The Mayo relationship means a lot to us. Our software is used by thousands of medical professionals at Mayo and we continue to jointly develop new innovative solutions that enhance patient care.

What is the product that you sell?

Our main focus is on patient engagement. We provide solutions for patient-reported outcome measurement – PROs– for instance using standard sets as developed by ICHOM, the International Consortium for Health Outcome Measurement. Customers include Boston Children’s, Duke Clinical, and AO Foundation.

Describe patient-reported outcomes, how they are collected, and how they are used.

As part of the move to value-based healthcare, it’s increasingly important for providers to measure quality of care, not just in clinical terms, but in terms that matter from a patient point of view. So, you get a hip replacement. Am I able to walk again? How long can I walk? Do I still experience pain?

What VitalHealth provides is the tooling that allows providers to engage with patients digitally in order to collect meaningful outcome data and to use patient-collected outcome data to improve the quality of the care. We provide seamless integration into the workflow of providers by connecting to different EMRs that are used.

Organizations learn and improve faster based on continuous specific feedback about outcomes coming directly from patients.

This is more than just measuring the patient’s perception of how well they were treated, correct?

Absolutely. This is based on validated standard sets developed by leading specialists from different countries. We are noticing increased adoption of PROMs around the world. It is a not only a great way to continuously improve quality of care, it also provides a way to make quality transparent for patients looking for the best provider to be treated by.

The main driver is the move to value-based healthcare in general. In addition we are seeing examples of payers mandating PROMs.

Do you have to sell the concept of patient-reported outcomes as well as your product, or have prospects already decided they want to move ahead with them?

There’s a little bit of both, but I would say that by now most providers have specialists that are very aware of organizations such as ICHOM and that are starting to take initiatives to implement PRO strategies within their organization.

Where do you see the company in the next five years?

I think we are seeing just the beginning. Today we collect data through questionnaires. Tomorrow we will add outcome measurements from many other sources, including wearables, sensors, and many other sources. We will do so real time and it will allow us to personalize care extremely effectively and efficiently.

Increasingly, treatment decisions will become shared decisions, with the physician and the patient being equal partners. Our goal is to be the global leader in this market.

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