News Feature | July 12, 2016

Columbus Region Is Pioneering Healthcare IT Via Startups

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

ONC Pushes For Health IT Innovation With Startup “Challenge”

Could Columbus serve as a model for other communities to improve Healthcare IT?

The Columbus, OH region is doing things right when it comes to pioneering healthcare IT and it could become a model for other communities to improve their services. The North American HIT market is expected to be worth $104 billion by 2020, providing an important niche for many communities to leverage for growth. And in a report commissioned by Columbus 2020, one executive declared, “Healthcare is just now embracing IT as the rest of the world knows it.”

Earlier this month, Columbus-based startup CrossChx announced that they had raised $15 million in Series C funding, bringing the company to $35 million in funding since 2012. CrossChx, which aims to simplify the way health information is recorded and accessed, produces Queue, which accurately captures patient data, finds errors, and verifies patient identities reducing medical mistakes and streamlining the process for both patients and medical professionals

According to MarketsAndMarkets report, the North American HIT market is expected to grow at a compound rate of 13.5 percent annually between 2015 and 2020. As the healthcare industry leverages technology to improve coordination of care, measurement, record keeping and more, the Columbus Region is capitalizing on this trend to spearhead innovation in the growing HIT industry. Other reasons Columbus is ranked highly include:

  • It is home to one of the country’s top healthcare industries. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Columbus’ healthcare industry among the best in the country, and the region includes renowned healthcare systems and companies including Mount Carmel, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Cardinal Health.
  • It is home to a skilled IT workforce, accommodating the needs of the growing HIT industry. According to Columbus 2020, the Columbus Metro area is the top metro for IT staffing, and IT workers are 31 percent more concentrated in the Columbus Region relative to the nation. This concentration has helped to foster the growth of the HIT industry in Columbus. According to ESMI data, the Region’s healthcare IT employment growth has outpaced that of the nation: 49 percent versus 30 percent in health insurance and 45 percent versus 31 in hospitals and ambulatory care.
  • It fosters emerging HIT companies with funding and other resources. Ohio provides an example for other states in terms of development. In fact, Ohio outpaces other Midwestern states in venture capital funding for healthcare and HIT startups, with $158.6 million raised in the first half of 2015.