Practice Fusion, Top Health IT innovator 2007

2. Name: Practice Fusion Site: http://www.practicefusion.com/ Founded: 2003 Located: San Francisco, CA Why it matters: Like many great concepts, what Practice Fusion is doing seems almost obvious in retrospect. Rather than force doctors to buy a pricey electronic medical records system, why not offer them the system for free and get someone else to pay for it? CEO Ryan Howard expects to pay for his new EMR software, which is offered as a hosted service, by reselling anonymized data on participating doctors to power users like big pharma and insurers. If this feisty startup can get the free EMR model popularized quickly—Howard is looking to snag 10,000 physicians by the end of next year!--it will all but stand the big-iron approach of the Epics of the world on its head. What to look for: Practice Fusion is on the VC trail but is "pre-money" and just getting its engines revving. However, it has plans laid out to launch a no-cost patient portal and a practice management module within the next several months. Sure, the question remains whether doctors will agree to have their data resold--even anonymously--in exchange for a nice EMR, but as the pressure mounts to digitize, we think many will.