Public vs. Private: Health Care Companies and Technology’s Impact

Nasdaq The rapidly growing and changing technology landscape of the health care industry means that companies catering to this market are also rapidly developing and adapting.  Technological advancements are happening so quickly that health care companies have to be able to move quickly in order to stay relevant and effective. This can be a challenge for large, public companies because there are a lot of moving parts that all need to be working in unison to make the vehicle run, not to mention many layers of approval to navigate. A private company can be more nimble, more customer-oriented and more experimental with the way they use technology. In an industry where “fly-by-night” companies are a regularly accepted occurrence, there is something to be said for well-established, stable and privately held companies in the health care industry and the benefits they can provide to their customers.

For example, when a company is privately held, there are no demands for quarterly increases to meet shareholder goals and no immediate pressure to introduce something revolutionary every few months. Privately held companies are able to concentrate on making sophisticated, yet user-friendly products. Of course new features and functionality continue to be introduced, but it’s done at the company’s own pace – ensuring that the end product is the best it can be — not just something that was rushed out the door to meet a deadline. Because there aren’t multiple parties to cater to, private companies can always stay true to what they really want to do — make great products. When companies are trying to please numerous entities, it can lead to poorly matched mergers, as well as the “sun-setting” of similar products within a combined company, often upsetting existing customers who are basically left hanging with a product that will not be further developed or supported.

Another privately held company in the health care industry that I’ve noticed has experienced much success and growth is venture-backed SonaCare Medical, a world leader in minimally invasive high intensity focused ultrasound technologies. Because of their ability to concentrate on creating great products in a specialty area, they have grown to be leaders in their field. More than 130 Sonablate 500 systems are installed in more than 30 countries and over 12,000 prostate cancer patients have been treated with Sonablate 500.

The company has focused on developing technologies for urological indications that offer precise and innovative procedures that can control cancer and reduce potential quality of life-altering side effects. As a result of Sonacare’s focused global growth strategy, the company has been able to recently introduce two new products and experience a 230 percent increase in international sales in 2012, tripling its international distributors.

Across all industries, consumers should choose to align themselves with companies that reflect values such as loyalty to their customers and a commitment to creating and developing quality products. This is particularly important with business relationships in the health care industry, as companies must be vested in the best interests of their clients and willing to grow with them. There are some indicators that people should be aware of in terms of determining the strength and stability of a company. It’s important for consumers to do a little research and find out how long a company has been around and how long their products have been in use. Those are good indicators of the stability of a company.

In the health care technology industry in particular, we at Meditab Software have secured our position because we provide software that accomplishes what medical offices need in the most efficient manner. Our programmers code everything that the end-users will need — working with their end goals in mind. The level of sophistication provided requires ten times more coding, but we are willing to put in the extra effort because we believe in building a better product and that is what has kept us in the game for over 15 years. Unlike some of the “fly-by-night” companies that have appeared in order to capture their piece of the market in time for the government mandate, Meditab has been a proven competitor in this market since 1998.

The best teacher is history. Some of the larger organizations in the industry have chosen to do away with certain older or less viable products, instead of taking the time and effort to improve them in support of their customers.There are companies that even rebrand the same product over and over, leading consumers to believe that it is a completely different product, when in reality, it’s the same old thing. Companies with longevity and independence can continue to provide clients with enhancements, updates and support to the product they know and use rather than migrate them to another solution.

At companies where compliance is key to product development, the team is able to focus on a single product line and concentrate their efforts to that goal. Companies that have multiple products are having to rebrand constantly, and “sunset” often, as products are constantly changing, and mandates are not met. When quarterly goals aren’t the driving force, medical practices receive products that are customized to their needs.

Mike Patel is CEO of Meditab Software and a serial entrepreneur who believes in building a single software platform using the latest technology to automate all of the business processes of a client. He is a pharmacist by training, but very passionate about technology. After graduating from pharmacy school at the age of 20 with 6 years of college credits, he pursued his passion of technology.

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