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March 23, 2023 News 1 Comment

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ED patient experience software vendor Vital raises $24.7 million in a Series B funding round.

The Atlanta-based company has raised $46 million since its founding in 2019.

Co-founder and CEO Aaron Patzer, MSEE was founder and CEO of money management software vendor Mint, which he sold to Intuit in 2009.

Reader Comments


From Homey D. Clown: “Re: GPT-4. Microsoft’s announcement included a quote from Epic that says the company will be using it.” The Microsoft blog post that announced Azure OpenAI Service quotes Epic SVP of R&D Seth Hain as saying that “we’ll use [GPT-4] to help physicians and nurses spend less time at the keyboard and to help them investigate data in more conversational, easy-to-use ways.” Hain, who joined Epic straight out of college in 2005, has spent the last eight years working on embedding cognitive computing and machine learning into Epic’s software. Health IT software vendors will need to make similar decisions about their financial and technical capabilities to incorporate ChatGPT-like AI into their products as opportunities and user expectations expand.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I’ll run my usual online guide of what HIStalk sponsors will be doing at HIMSS23 the week before it kicks off, so send me your details. And since the question comes up every year, we can in fact get a new sponsor onboarded quickly enough to get into the guide, not to mention that they also get 51 more weeks of involvement once we all return home from Chicago. 

I awkwardly put together my first weekly healthcare AI update, not yet confident about content and writing style. Still, I have lined up some good interviews as a result and the more I write, the more I’ll learn.

I have early access to Google’s Bard AI chat tool and found it to be vastly inferior to ChatGPT, even the 3.5 version, as it either gave wildly incorrect responses or declined to answer at all. Its only advantage is that its information is kept current instead of being limited by a training cutoff date, as ChatGPT’s famous knowledge horizon of September 2021. AI will get a lot cooler when it stays current, which may come in the form of merging it with search engines as Microsoft has done with Bing.


None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present or promote your own.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Primary care operator Oak Street Health, whose $10.6 billion acquisition by CVS is in progress, launches OakWell in joint venture with kidney care management company Interwell Health. OakWell will offer primary care services to patients with end-stage kidney disease directly in the dialysis center, where ESKD patients spend an average of 12 hours per week.



Caregility hires Paul Oliver (Cisco) as chief revenue officer.

Announcements and Implementations

Epic integrates Invitae’s genetic testing into its Orders and Results Anywhere network specialty diagnostics suite.

An Intelligent Medical Objects survey of provider leaders finds that 94% plan to implement software to address clinician burnout and a potential recession, while 98% of respondents acknowledge that they need to use data better to confront challenges. Most respondents think that AI is overhyped, yet are adopting it and reporting improvements in clinical quality and administrative functions as a result.


A new KLAS report ranks Epic Community Connect as the top EHR for FQHCs, closely followed by Athenahealth. NextGen Healthcare is the leader in supporting an integrated care model and treating underserved populations. FQHCs express general dissatisfaction with dental management software integration, although NextGen Healthcare customers are content with its Electronic Dental Record integration.

Government and Politics

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority board unanimously votes to implement a statewide HIE and require providers to contribute data to it except for patients who opt out. Mental health providers had marched on the capitol last week over concerns that the personal information of their patients could be compromised, while other providers are unhappy about the $5,000 signup fee.



Former Microsoft HealthVault GM Sean Nolan takes a nostalgic look back at its acquired Azyxxi, which it later renamed to Amalga. He provides some fun backstory – and potentially startup-relevant lessons learned — to the flashy analytics platform that was the hottest thing going for a short time in the early 2000s:

  • Azyxxi thought that ETL pre-work is always wrong and not useful for asking new questions, so they loaded data from source systems and relied on heavy SQL processing to transform it as needed.
  • The company’s early culture was that users should be able to ask questions themselves instead of dealing with the IT department.
  • The product displayed information in an automatically refreshed kiosk-type display in patient care areas. The company’s experts would optimize performance-hogging queries once they saw them being used, which avoided optimizing low-use functions.
  • The Amalga team ran into channel conflict at Microsoft, which had salespeople co-selling with third party developers that used Microsoft technologies, meaning that the salespeople “were best buddies with a whole bunch of healthcare data analytics companies that were in direct competition with Amalga.”
  • The product was created at Washington Hospital Center by a dedicated team of 40 employees, but prospect hospitals focused on risk avoidance rather than innovation and weren’t motivated to replace an existing, inferior product with one they had to learn.
  • Microsoft narrowed its business lines with the hiring of Satya Nadella as CEO in 2014. Amalga was sold to the Caradigm joint venture of GE HealthCare and Microsoft, Microsoft sold its stake, and the company was split into two parts that were sold to Inspirata and Imprivata. He didn’t mention that Microsoft also used the Amalga name on a Thailand-based EHR and RIS/PACS that it acquired from Global Care Solutions (Microsoft later sold that business to Orion Health).


Epic stages a cook-off of its in-house chefs, with Madison magazine offering interesting facts about the company’s massive food service program:

  • Epic serves 9,000 made-from-scratch meals per day from three food service buildings and seven culinary venues (soon to be eight).
  • The company’s working farm provides some of the produce it uses.
  • Several of its recipes are posted online.
  • Culinary employees get the same benefits as everyone else, including paid vacations, bonuses, health insurance, sabbaticals, and normal working hours instead of the usual evenings and weekends.
  • Epic’s on-campus soda fountain (above) is named after CEO Judy Faulkner’s father Lou, who owned a pharmacy that had a soda fountain.

Sponsor Updates

  • CereCore releases a new podcast, “How L1 Support and Hosting Services Made Customers Happy and More.”
  • Everbridge CEO David Wagner presides over the opening of the Nasdaq to celebrate the company’s new brand and 20th anniversary.
  • The Association of Health Information Outsourcing Services elects HealthMark Group CEO Bart Howe as its new president.
  • InterSystems releases a new Health Data Podcast, “Mitigating the Risk of Innovation (ft. Pothik Chatterjee, Lifebridge Health).”
  • Meditech releases a new podcast, “Shaping home care and hospice practices at the national level.”

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Thank you for the blast from the past of Azyxxi & Amalga memories! I sold Amalga for 3 years. Easy to get in the door, hard to make the sale. Our super smart crew taught me allot. It felt so cutting edge and we were out to change healthcare IT. Sean, you forgot to mention data atoms!

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