Direct patient access to their health data just became a bit easier as the Replete Health mobile app becomes the latest CommonWell ConnectedTM product to launch.
Venkat Timmaraju, the founder and CEO of Replete, is starting off 2020 with a bang. For more than three years, he has poured his energy into making the Replete a success. Today, Replete announced that their platform is live for patients and providers. Being a CommonWell Connected Service Adopter, Replete has a potential consumer base of more than 76 million individuals.
Like many of us, he felt compelled to create Replete based on his own health care experiences. We recently caught up with him to learn more about the platform and what drives him to improve health care.
What inspired you to start Replete?
I worked as a research fellow in academia and as an advanced analytics professional for various multinational organizations before starting Replete. With my background in medical statistics, I have been on the forefront of clinical research. It was always difficult for me to perform a thorough analysis on any clinical topic because there was no data to quantify the effects of patients’ behaviors unless you conduct a very expensive longitudinal study to collect patients’ behavioral data. That’s when I realized, I need to do something to bring both patients’ clinical and behavioral data under one roof. Subsequently, Replete was born in July 2016 to realize this dream.
How is Replete putting patients in control of their health?
Research shows that increasing doctor-to-patient communication significantly improves health outcomes. Our platform was intentionally created to improve that communication and provide a ecosystem to make it more efficient. There are two ways for patients to access their clinical data through Replete. After downloading the mobile app (iOS and Android) and undergoing ID verification, patients can download the available clinical data based on the participating provider sites. Alternatively, their provider can collect their data through Replete and invite them to have access—similar to a tethered patient portal. In both scenarios, Replete, enables patients and providers to be on the same page about their treatment plans.
How do you see this access changing health care for patients and their caregivers?
I believe that if people have a full view of their clinical data, it will empower them, and maybe even inspired them, to take that data and use it to improve their quality of life. The marketplace is flooded with many health-tech applications that only solve a single piece of the puzzle. Replete takes the next step by bringing all the necessary features that enables people to learn more and follow their treatment plans. The enhanced communication Replete enables between providers and patients will only make this easier. We believe with more empowered patients and better connected providers, we can help make a significant impact on reducing health care costs, increase the quality of clinical research and improving people’s quality of life.
How is the CommonWell network helping Replete gives patients greater access?
CommonWell has a very clear structured approach to providing data access to patients. Just as importantly, the network is growing rapidly and with the finalizing of new Health IT regulations, such as TEFCA, we expect the network to continue expanding. This growth will translate into even more value for Replete subscribers since the growth of the network means the availability of more clinical data. We are extremely delighted to be working with CommonWell in realizing our combined goal of making clinical data easily accessible for patients and providers.
What is one thing you learned about Health IT as you were creating this platform that surprised you?
When we assembled our team and started on our journey, we thought we could make individual’s clinical data accessible pretty easily using OAuth2—a commonly used protocol that grants users limited access to data online. We quickly realized it would be time intensive and too complex to reach our goals with only our small but mighty team. As a member and Service Adopter of CommonWell, we were able to leverage their interoperability services and nationwide network to fulfill our mission much faster than if we had tried to do all the development work ourselves.
What recommendations would you have for similar solutions that are just getting started?
The best advice I have is to focus on end-user value. If you do that, revenue streams will fall in place. It may sound strange for the founder of a start-up to say that, as revenue streams are obviously critical to your success. However, defining at the outset and then focusing on what value you will bring to your customers will differentiate you. If you know your product delivers value to your customers, like the Replete platform does, then it will sell itself and allow you to turn your attention to deriving even more value from the product – benefiting not only your bottom-line but more importantly, your customers and the community as a whole.