Easy AdSense by Unreal
medicsfileThere are at least two schools of thought about competition in business: Either it’s bad, because you have to work all the more intensely to maintain your customers; or that it’s good, because it shows that there are lots of customers out there worth fighting over.

When you’re operating in a space that has a lot of competition, you have to hone your message, letting potential customers know what makes your product or service better. And when many of your competitors are offering what looks like a similar product for free, while you’re charging money for yours, your message – laying out the reasons why your product is worth paying for – had better be crystal clear.

Those are the kind of dilemmas Eli Fachter, CEO of Israeli startup Medicsfile, is facing. His company is working in the already crowded Web 2.0 space of online health records – an area that has become increasingly crowded, with a series of web sites allowing users to save their medical information, such as  history of their experiences with diseases, or personal details such as allergies to medicine. There are several sophisticated sites that offer a wide array of services, such as allowing users to upload documents like prescriptions or x-rays – these generally cost money – to more general sites, that allow the user to record information about themselves that they might need to share with a doctor unfamiliar with their medical history. One of the free sites, Healthvault, is operated by none other Microsoft, while a Google-run site. GoogleHealth, is due to come on line sometime in the coming months.

Fachter can handle the heat, he says – because Medicsfile is head and shoulders above the competition. “The free sites are fine for the dilettante – for users who want to become familiar with the concept of online medical records,” he says. “But we don’t see them as our main competition. And as far as the more sophisticated pay sites are concerned, we offer services none of the others do, making Medicsfile the logical choice for anyone seeking to store their medical records online,” he says.

The free sites are useful for consumers who want to check out what it would be like to keep their medical records online – a concept that even sophisticated computer users may not be used to. “Your car has a special record book, where you record the work done by the garage, so potential purchasers of your vehicle can see the history of your car’s mechanical condition,” says Fachter. “Shouldn’t we have a similar record for our bodies?” The usefulness of online health records becomes especially clear when people are required to seek medical attention away from their regular caretakers. “The vast majority of what a doctor knows about your condition comes out in a pre-treatment interview, and if you’re not feeling well or the doctor is in a hurry, you may miss important details. It makes more sense to have your information prepared in advance, allowing the doctor to access it online and learn what might be important details you might have overlooked.”

Once users are sold on the concept, however, they realize that the services offered by the free sites are just not as advanced as they could be – and that’s where Medicsfile comes in. “We provide users with the tools that turn online medical records from just a good idea into an essential element in their healthcare,” Fachter says.

Medicsfile, for example, provides users with unlimited space in their accounts – unique among any medical record site, free or pay, and important, because users can upload documents of any kind, such as X-rays, MRI results, etc. Such files can be bulky, and allowing unlimited space enables patients to get the most out of their accounts. Speaking of images, Medicsfile is also the only site that can guarantee that any format of graphic file is readable, on any computer in the world – using Medicsfile’s own image reader. “Every other site that accepts images has readers that can handle only specific formats. But there are dozens of different graphics file formats in use, so in order to enable patients to access their information from anywhere, we built a graphics file reader that can read and display any file format,” Fachter says. And the files themselves are viewable in read-only format, ensuring that no one tampers with the original copy.

Medicsfile is also geared for travelers – and for users who find they must seek treatment from doctors who don’t necessarily speak their language. “A user’s Medicsfile account is fully translatable, so users can basically walk into a clinic anywhere in Europe, the U.S., or the Middle East to get treatment and enable local staff to review their cases in their own languages, ensuring full clear access to the facts,” Fachter says. Medicsfile records can be viewed instantly in English, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, German or Italian – and more languages are set to be added in the coming months. In order to ensure complete clarity, a user account contains comprehensive, drop-down lists of diseases, medications, treatments, etc., that users are encouraged to choose from. “With the drop down menus, already pre-translated, there is zero room for misunderstandings,” says Fachter.

And, of course, there is the issue of security, which is perhaps a major factor in the reluctance of some people to embrace online medical records. “Of course we use SSL and all the standard sophisticated web encryption and security methods,” Fachter says, “but we are also one of the few sites fully compliant with the U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s HIPAA standards, the only published standard for sites like ours.” Extending security, Medicsfile is a web only site – unlike with other services, there are no dongles to lose or external equipment to attach to a computer in order to utilize features. In fact, you don’t even have to use your real name. “We have a list of identifying information that can be used to access the account, so in case  hacker does manage to get access to your account, s/he won’t be able to connect the information to any specific individuals, rendering it worthless to them,” Fachter says.

And if the worst does happen, and a patient is brought to a hospital in an incapacitated state, Medicsfile can help as well, if the patient’s hospital has signed up with the site’s access program. “Hospitals can get a master password that allows them to access a patient’s records with just one identifier, if the patient is unable to supply the information. Thus, medical staff have access to the details they need when they need it. “Any access using this method is strictly observed by our staff to ensure proper use,” Fachter says, “and we contact each user whose account has been accessed by an institution to ensure that it is being tapped into legitimately,” he says.

Medicsfile cost NIS 16 per month for primary user, and NIS 14 per month for other family members. Right now, the site is aimed at Israelis, but Fachter has bigger fish in his sights, such as the U.S. and Europe. And, Fachter says, he’s got no problem taking on Microsoft or Google in this space. “Those sites will never offer the array of services we do,” he says. “Once users realize what online medical records can do for them, they will flock to Medicsfile. We expect a very successful future.”

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks

Category: gaming

Comments are closed.