It happens here: Consumer-centric Innovation in Charlotte and beyond

Agastha continues to improve the health care experience for all by Nheeda Enriquez

screenshot via Agastha

Last month, I connected with Mohan Korrapati of Charlotte-based Agastha to learn more about his quest to lead the field of electronic medical records.  The health care debate brought renewed focus on the category, but Agastha’s been improving their product for over 7 years, implementing their software in Charlotte practices and elsewhere.

5 minutes into a conversation with him, you realize that Korrapati has experienced the pains that patients face.  He just wants to simplify the complexities that make existing record systems annoying and inefficient.  At practices who use an Agastha solution, you probably don’t have to fill out forms over and over, or maybe you’ll get a message to let you know that an appointment is coming up.  And for the staff, the system might alert them if a patient has missed a critical appointment or has been prescribed a dangerous combination of medicines.

Where other major companies like Microsoft or Cisco have just been talking about electronic health records for years, Agastha credits their fast progress to its agility and a feedback loop from providers.  They seem to have built a culture of frequent prototyping and learning often found in truly innovative teams.

Dissecting the health care debate for the rest of us by Nheeda Enriquez

photo via the back of the napkin blog

photo via the back of the napkin blog

If there’s anything everyone can agree on, it’s that the issues surrounding health care reform are complex.  I personally find this topic fascinating with all its history, the players, and the fact that Obama is in a long line of presidents who have tried to tackle this monstrosity, at the end of the day, all most people want to know is “what’s in it for me?”

I came across two wonderful resources today that attempt to put the health care debate in perspective in a simpler, consumer-centric way.

  • On its own, Dan Roam’s book, The Back of the Napkin, is a great read for anyone who wants to learn to communicate ideas using compelling, yet ridiculously simple, sketches.   He takes on the complexity of health care in a “series” of 4 napkins.  Sure, it doesn’t capture everything, but he introduces it a viewpoint from which most can easily relate to.
  • I’m clearly a huge fan of NPR’s Planet Money podcast (it helped me survive the banking collapse last fall,) and they’re amazing at finding everyday analogies to present difficult economics material to non-economists.  With health care in so much focus, they’ve dedicated recent episodes to explain the different players in a digestible format.