Former Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush has launched a new health record data platform and software services for healthcare agencies to build their own workflow apps.
Zus Health recently raised $34 million and plans to create a shared development platform for doctors of any specialty to access their patients' data, while also empowering digital-first healthcare builders to create lower cost, more personalized technology services.
"There's an audience for not just sharing software or intelligence and knowledge, but actually sharing records," Bush said. "I don't mean sharing like sending copies around, I mean literally reading and writing off of the same living record. That's been a dream of mine for a long time."
This is Bush's latest venture since he became the executive chairman of Firefly Health, a concierge medicine service, in 2019. He stepped down as the CEO of Athenahealth in 2018 after reports of violence against his ex-wife surfaced, along with allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct.
Bush said Zus Health will offer three main products,including a nationwide health data platform where providers can go to check and update a patient's record. The record will include anything from "people's Fitbit feeds" to medical imaging and lab results, he said.
The second product will be a software developer kit for healthcare chief technology officers and engineers to build their own apps, integrating patient relationship management, telemedicine, medical records and payment workflow.
Zus Health will also offer a data aggregation service that would include census data, credit bureau data and other data that paints a comprehensive picture of the patient.
Data exchange, data accuracy and the lack of a universal patient identifier are all major problems for physicians, said Aaron Miri, chief information officer at University of Texas at Austin's Dell Medical School.
"I think [Zus Health's] platform is needed," Miri said. "The concept makes a lot of sense to me to democratize data and get it back to people for the right reasons."
Miri said if Zus Health can accelerate the flow of data and new economic models of care to save money and still meet the 21st Century Cures Act's compliance regulation of seamlessly giving patients their electronic medical records, then the company would be of "tremendous value."
Like LinkedIn, which acts as a virtual resume that can constantly be updated, Bush said Zus Health's data platform could allow people to send a link to their place of employment to transfer benefits and detail their personal health needs more efficiently.
Rock Health is one of Zus' investors, citing its opportunity to transform infrastructure and deliver more value to patients.
Data silos and divided health services were created because of cultural, historical and structural reasons, said Bill Evans, CEO of Rock Health, and they slow innovation, creating a barrier to developing solutions that rely on easily accessing data.
"The healthcare industry as a whole appreciates the inevitability of making health data more transportable and the necessity of doing so for patients' well being and the transformation of the industry," Evans said. "Zus is doing this at a time when investors are really primed to understand the opportunity that lies ahead."
Currently, zus is starting off with four builders including Cityblock Health, Dorsata, Firefly Health and Oak Street Health, who will all use the startup's tools to build their own healthcare apps.