Box Is Now Here in Health Care

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Box, a content sharing company, piped up last week to essentially announce to the health tech world that they’re here. Box’s hundreds of existing health care customers were already aware, but with Box’s latest set of news, the company wanted to make clear that out of all the industries it serves, one of its priorities is addressing health care’s needs.

Box offers cloud-based services that are used by nearly 150,000 businesses — including customers working in industries from media to high-tech — to share and mange files. Last week Box said that its content sharing methods are HIPAA-compliant, meaning customers can now use the company’s tools to exchange clinical information, not just administrative information.

“We’ve got several hundred paying customers in the health care vertical and grew 81% last year just in health care,” Whitney Bouck general manager of enterprise at Box, said. “But we didn’t have the ability to enable full HIPAA compliance, weren’t signing business associate agreements, we didn’t have all the right integrations, and so that’s where we really spent our time investing.”

The company brought on founding member of Google Health Missy Krasner as an advisor. Krasner was already an existing user, and she still manages her mom’s multi-sourced health information and records through Box’s services.

How Box got into the business of ensuring HIPAA compliance and signing business associate agreements, which can hold Box accountable for a data breach, is a story linked to the company’s university-affiliated customers. About two years ago the company started working with Internet2, a consortium led by universities to enable collaboration in academia, industry and government. Many of those institutions included medical schools that wanted to be able to collaborate on research, and they tried to persuade Box to enable them to exchange information extra securely.

Around that same time, Bouck came on board to examine the company’s relationships with its large organization customers.

“And as I dug into our existing relationship with health care customers, it was very clear they wanted to use us in clinical and medical records handling as much as they did for hospital operations, budget management, staffing and so on. So there was a second big push around HIPAA compliance,” Bouck said.

The assurance regarding HIPAA and data security has already allowed drchrono, one of Box’s health care partners, to add a new feature to its iPad-based electronic health record. “Drchrono Box Sync” is an integration of the two platforms that allows physicians and patients to exchange medical information using Box.

Daniel Kivatinos is chief operating officer of drchrono, which Box has made an investment in. Kivatinos said that this year the company plans on rolling out advanced features around Box throughout the course of the year.

“It’s our first EHR that we’re working with, and you can imagine the use cases going forward for working with EHRs” Krasner said, pointing out that providers will need to provide 50% of their patients with online access to their health information in order to meet Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements.

Box also partnered with nine other health care platform partners, including TigerText, Doximity and HealthTap, and Krasner said that more announcements are on the way as Box continues talks with potential partners.

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