Monday, October 29, 2012

Trade Names: eHealthObjects wants its software to integrate other health care IT

Sanjay Mittal and his wife, Sunita Gupta, wanted to create information technology systems for the health care industry when they formed eHealthObjects Inc. in 2006.

They knew they had a challenge. Health information technology is very fragmented with many systems available that don't work together very easily.

They wanted eHealthObjects to develop software programs that would integrate with other health care technology systems.

"Innovation was the key," Mittal said.

One of eHealthObjects' products is its ThinkHIE, a health information exchange system that consolidates medical data from a variety of medical providers in a unified health history of patients.
Another offering is its ThinkCDM disease and case management software. The company's ThinkEHR provides software for health record management systems.

The company's software products are offered on eHealthObjects' private cloud. "That is key," Mittal said.

Mittal and Gupta first thought about starting a company in 2004 when both worked in the health care technology field.

In 2006, the couple hired a software developer to help begin creating software.

Mittal continued working for Coventry Health Care until 2010 when eHealthObjects' software products were ready for sale.

"We wanted to be primarily a products company," Mittal said. "We didn't want to be a services-only company."

The company's first clients were based in Virginia. Today, it has clients in Maryland, Illinois, Georgia, Texas and Pennsylvania.

Clients include state agencies, state universities, long-term care centers, nursing homes, rural hospitals, pharmacists, mental health counselors and public and private providers.
The couple found it difficult to get clients at first.

"We made contacts with people who have worked with us in the past," Mittal said, noting that the company provided some small initial project work for free with a stipulation that the client sign a contract with eHealthObjects. "For example, we gave the University of Maryland about $100,000 of work free. We were new in the market and didn't have a brand name. We don't have to do that anymore."

The company has grown mainly through word of mouth, networking and repeat business.
"We also attend trade shows and invite providers to our product launches," Mittal said. "We have a strong client base now."

Tara George, director of All Family Matters, a Richmond-based community health provider, had eHealthObjects tailor-design software for the organization.

"It was amazing," she said of the finished product. "I am an old-time paperwork person, and they made this user-friendly for me."

She likes that Mittal is always available for questions.

"I am a late worker, and I sent out a text to Sanjay in the middle of the night," she said. "He texted me back that night and said, 'Call me now.' "

Revenue at eHealthObjects rose 100 percent last year compared with 2010, when the company launched its products.

"This year, we are on track to do the same," Mittal said.

The company is considering expanding its services in and out of the United States.

"That is 12 to 18 months down the road," Mittal said.

When hiring employees, the couple always looks for local talent.

"People have told us to get offshore resources, but, as a corporate strategy, we have always said no to that," Mittal said. "We will never move our development offshore."

The couple used their own funds to start the company.

"There are no loans on the company," Mittal said. "We had money to invest, and I worked at other organizations to support the company. We didn't take out any business loans."

Wendy Cohen, comptroller and program administrator for the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, sees eHealthObjects as a "very progressive and exciting company."

"eHealthObjects has provided data analytics and secure portal services to the University of Maryland P3 Program for the past several months," she said. "We are very happy with their ability to accommodate our growing needs and allowing us the opportunity to manage large-scale proposals."

John Kleski, CEO of PhyMedica LLC, a Henrico County-based health care company that specializes in electronic medical records, contracted with eHealthObjects to develop software.

"Their work was within budget and time commitments," he said. "They were very professional and exceptionally skilled. They developed products in conjunction with our team without conflict. That is a very positive thing in this business."

By: Joan Tupponce
Richmond Times-Dispatch

HDL Gives $500,000 Donation for Fitness Initiative

An effort to encourage physical fitness in the Richmond area is getting a big financial boost from one of the region's fastest-growing companies.

Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc. has donated $500,000 to the Metropolitan Richmond Sports Backers, a nonprofit organization that puts together numerous local sports events, for its "Active RVA" initiative.

It is a lead donation in a campaign that kicked off Wednesday night to raise $4.5 million to support health and wellness activities in the area.

Among other things, Health Diagnostic's donation will help support an "active RVA stairwell initiative" to encourage people to take the stairs instead of the elevator. That involves placing signs with "whimsical messages" at the stairways in local offices, stores and museums.

The messages might say "Walk this Way" or "Don't Let the Machines Win," said Sports Backers Executive Director Jon Lugbill.

"It is a fun way to encourage that first step" to better health, he said.

Sport Backers also wants to develop an application for mobile phones and computers so physicians can identify specific, local fitness programs best suited for their patient's needs.

"A doctor is more likely to give (fitness) advice if they know what exercise program to tell their patients to use," Lugbill said. "The patient is much more likely to take it up if their doctor is telling them a specific thing to do."

A third part of the initiative is a certification and awards program to recognize local employers and schools that implement innovative programs promoting fitness and physical activity.

The $500,000 donation will help support the program for five years.

It was appropriate given Health Diagnostic's mission as a company to help identify and prevent diseases, said Tonya Mallory, the company's president and chief executive officer.

The company provides diagnostic services to detect early risk factors for conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It also provides lifestyle counseling for patients to help them avoid those conditions.

"What we want to do is make everyone aware of the small changes that we can make in our lives on a daily basis that make a huge impact on health," Mallory said.

Health Diagnostic has been adding hundreds of jobs locally and is expanding its offices and laboratories in the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park in downtown Richmond.

John Reid Blackwell
Richmond Times-Dispatch