Bio Eats World: Building Digital Health’s Github
Today’s episode is all about the history and future of infusing tech into healthcare with the goals of improving outcomes and lowering costs, and features one of the leading voices in this field, Jonathan Bush. Jonathan, aka JB, started his career in healthcare as an ambulance driver and army medic, and then met Todd Park, another Bio Eats World guest, while at Booz Allen.
Together they founded Athena Women’s Health Clinic, which evolved from a clinic specializing in maternity care to one of the original digital health companies providing cloud-based services and point-of-care clinical and back office tools for providers, later called Athenahealth. In this conversation with a16z general partner Julie Yoo — who is also a digital health builder — JB discusses this evolution, how it mirrors the bigger trend shifts in healthcare, and how it has informed the mission of his new company, Zus, which he compares to a Github for healthtech.
JB and Julie cover what’s changed since the launch of Athena, 25 years ago, how to disrupt an entrenched system like healthcare, the role regulation plays in the space, and the under appreciated importance of bottom-up sales.
Please note there is some colorful language used in this episode, in case you have young children listening.
Zus empowers an entirely new wave of healthcare builders to create technologies and services without the usual blockers.
Our expectations have evolved. We’re tired of playing along with the traditional way of managing patient data. It’s costly, tedious, and dangerous. We’re ready for a world where appropriate access to healthcare data is not just available, but expected. And thanks to all the right factors colliding at just the right time, long-awaited change is finally possible.
At Zus, we aim to bring forth a better health reality by empowering an inspired new wave of healthcare builders to create digital technologies and services that are cheaper, easier to customize, and far more intimate. Every American has a right to their own health information home. And now that the pieces are in place, it’s time to start building.
When a care-providing organization isn’t brick-and-mortar, but instead a continuum from home to hospital with digital touchpoints every step of the way, building an all-encompassing experience is no easy task. Unless you’re doing it with Zus