Many hospitals in America have made the switch to electronic health records (EHR) systems to manage patient medical information in the last couple of decades. This is supposed to make record-keeping easier and more efficient, but the systems are different for each hospital and often can’t communicate with each other. This makes it hard for health app developers to design apps that run on each unique system.
Currently, if an app uses patient health information, the app developer has to not only spend months convincing the hospital bureaucracy to integrate its EHR system with the developer’s app, but the developer also has to design the app a specific way to work within that unique system in order to get it to send the needed data. This is obviously too expensive and time-intensive for most app developers.
Y Combinator-backed Akido Labs is a third-party service that helps health IT app developers simplify the process within each hospital records system. Akido Labs co-founders Hugh Gordon, Jared Goodner and Prashant Samant previously started the University of Southern California’s D-Health Lab, USC Health System’s digital innovation arm. Gordon was in medical school at the time and noticed the inefficiencies in the current health system.
Research led the founders to conclude they should start with building an easier way for apps to hook into each hospital records system. “We realized this was the biggest problem for companies that want to write software for hospitals today,” Gordon said.
Akido Labs essentially provides the “technical plumbing” for health IT apps. It does this by working with each individual hospital to build a standardized API layer around each system so the developers don’t have to.
“We get to know the hospital systems and can work with CIOs to get things up and running for the vendors,” Prashant said.
The startup has a current commitment from over 200 hospitals throughout the U.S., with several hundred more in the works. USC’s Keck Health system will be among the centers to use Akido as an app vendor integration platform.