Healthcare industries today rely heavily on information technology and give importance to excellent end-user experience. But this was not the case until the recent past. Health IT systems earlier operated on a minimalistic budget and hence delivering exceptional end-user experience used to be a Herculean task for IT professionals.
Recognizing the hurdles, being part of a health IT system Thomas Charlton founded Goliath Technologies in 2010. Headquartered in Philadelphia (PA), the company has been instrumental in changing the way the health care industry perceived health IT. The company and its founder set a benchmark for many others to emulate and thrive in an ever-growing market and cater to an ever-growing demand.
More than ever before, monitoring end-user experience in health care industry has assumed gigantic proportions today. We peek at the formation, transformation, success, and future plans of Goliath Technologies in an interview with its founder.
In the following interview with CIO Look, Thomas share his thoughts and opinions on the current scenario within the healthcare industry and his company’s stronghold as well.
What was the vision behind establishing Goliath Technologies?
I was CEO of six venture-backed companies before I founded Goliath Technologies. Goliath was born out of my aspiration to grow a company from the ground floor. In order to start a company, you need to have a sizeable, addressable market where users are feeling real pain due to lack of a solution.
I had seen the true struggle IT professionals were facing as technology elements and applications started moving to the cloud. At the same time, many legacy components and applications remained on-premises.
My vision was to build a company that would develop and sell purpose-built software to alleviate the pains IT professionals face when managing and supporting hybrid infrastructures – all while delivering an exceptional end-user experience. And this vision has been realized as Goliath Technologies.
What made you choose the healthcare industry for your endeavors?
I began my career in healthcare, working for U.S. Surgical and have always been familiar with the healthcare space. As I moved out West to San Francisco and into the technology sector I learned that all too often Health IT systems have half the budget and half the resources as their enterprise counterparts. And in Health IT, patient care ultimately swings in the balance if IT systems do not perform optimally. This is why in growing Goliath, though we are decidedly a cross-vertical solution, over years we added purpose-built functionality to focus on healthcare and improving end-user and clinician experience across all major EHR applications—Epic, Cerner, Allscripts and MEDITECH.
How do solutions by Goliath add value to the Healthcare industry?
In the products we developed for Health IT we made very deliberate decisions to add features that help our Health IT professionals address challenges that are unique to their situation. Specifically, we developed integration and support for the clinical and business applications that are critical to their end-users along with automation and embedded intelligence that has the net effect of adding three full-time employees to their staff.
Goliath believes in offering ‘proactive’ solutions. How does that create an advantage for the clients?
With our embedded intelligence and automation, we can automatically identify any potential failure points, conditions, or IT elements that can negatively impact the end-user or clinician experience. We then create alerts that will proactively notify IT if any of these points create a poor end-user experience. This way IT can address issues before end-users are even impacted.
For example, we work with a top 10 U.S. Health System with over 100 hospitals nationwide. Using Goliath, they were proactively alerted at 4:30 a.m. that their EHR system was unavailable. IT was able to quickly resolve the issue before most users started their day. By proactively alerting IT, this health system prevented an outage for over 25,000 users and more importantly it had no impact on quality of patient care.
Which is your flagship product/service that stands out and how?
Goliath Technologies offers purpose-built modules for all the major EHR systems (Epic, Cerner, Allscripts, and MEDITECH). These modules provide an end-to-end view that enables Health IT to correlate data from end-user experience, the delivery infrastructure, and the EHR application to anticipate, troubleshoot, and document end-user experience issues.
With the data provided, IT can prevent performance issues, quickly isolate root cause and resolve issues when they do occur, and finally document the results proving across management, other IT vendors and groups, and to end-users that permanent fix solutions have been implemented.
How do you prepare yourself and the team to stay updated with the latest technologies?
We stay in constant communication with our customers and partners to understand where shifts are occurring in the market and in their business. This is one reason why we have both technical and business partnerships with all the major EHR vendors.
Also, I personally meet with CIOs and executives of these health systems regularly to understand what is driving their priorities and what are some of their top challenges. Our best product ideas have come directly from understanding the challenges our clients face and working collaboratively with them to solve with software.
What are going to be your future endeavors?
This is a question that is difficult to answer in today’s environment. Based on conversations with our health system clients, we see an acceleration towards technical solutions that will enable the provisioning of healthcare remotely. Telehealth is one such example. Health systems that had one hundred telehealth visits a few months ago are now seeing thousands. This is a real opportunity for tech companies to serve ongoing patient care by advancing their remote enablement technology. As with any crisis, there will be opportunity created for those who have the vision, awareness, and capability to act.
What according to you is the one takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic?
Reliable end-user experience is more critical than ever. For years, organizations and health systems have discussed making their applications always available from any location and any device. Those ahead of this vision were able to accelerate during this crisis. Those who had not yet started were scrambling as they saw their employees all begin to work remotely.
No one can predict what work styles will look like on the other side of COVID-19, but one thing will remain constant: the focus on end-users and their workspaces. Enabling end-users to be effective and productive, regardless of where they work from and what device they use, will be critical to an organization’s survival.