Where’s the Beef?

Awhile back, Chilmark received a briefing from Medicity about their forthcoming iNexx platform.  We liked what we saw. iNexx fit our model of where the HIE and more broadly, the HIT market is headed, particularly for the far-flung small ambulatory practices that make up the vast percentage of where most people receive their care.  It is these small practices, where sister-in-law Gertrude is running the front office and the physician’s high-school age son may trouble-shoot IT issues, when he is not out with his friends at the local movie theater.  These small practices are an ideal candidate for HIT delivered via a hosted Platform as a Service (PaaS) model that iNexx is designed to serve.  (Note: HIE vendors Covisint and Axolotl also have their own PaaS plays, though have not been promoting them quite as heavily as Medicity.  One could even position Microsoft’s Amalga & Eclipsys relationship in this venue as well, though in this case, the target appears to be hospitals.)

So it was with some anticipation that we saw the press release from Medicity this week announcing that iNexx will go GA (general availability) in August.  We wanted to know more about exactly what would be provided to physicians as Medicity is promoting iNexx as a free platform for physicians to adopt and use.

Imagine our disappointment when we clicked on the Medicity iNexx link to find very few concrete details as to what the platform would offer, how it would enable a physician to meet meaningful use, (e.g., who is the certified EHR vendor(s) they reference even though we still do not have certification rules in place?), who would be third party partners on the platform, what specific functions and activities would iNexx enable, etc.  We also weren’t too crazy about the iNexx platform only enabling care coordination within its own network (one can only share with others who are also on the iNexx platform)- hardly an open exchange network.

Now don’t get us wrong, we understand marketing and the need to create buzz in the market to generate a sense of excitement, but when does marketing cross the line to pure wasted digital ink?  Medicity may have crossed it on this one.

Please Medicity, back-off on the marketing hype, remove the Health 4.0 term, and release PRs with links that provide one the opportunity to truly drill down and learn something about what you intend to offer.  We’ve seen your slide deck, you have some excellent content, now just put it to good use so others may understand more fully what is iNexx and how it may offer a viable route to meaningful use that is outside of what most HIT/EHR vendors are promoting today.  We know you have the beef – deliver it.

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2 comments on “Where’s the Beef?
  1. I couldn’t agree more, John. EVERYONE should give all HIT / HIE vendors a complete F, #FAIL, NO PASS for any promotional material that’s not concrete.

    Like you I understand marketing and the need to position oneself as in the fight. But that’s different from asserting that something actually exists. If something’s going GA in 10-15 weeks, it better exist (and be in field test) in an almost-final form now. Today. So, like, there’s no question about the feature list.

    The thing is, marketers will surely respond to how the market reacts to an announcement. That’s why I hope there will be widespread disinterest in this non-announcement.

    Thanks for speaking up -

  2. John says:

    Thanks David for chiming in. Yes, having worked in marketing, you know the drill, just too bad when a company goes over-board, as is the case here with this particular PR.

    Another thing I find puzzling and a bit worrisome is the significant amount of time it is taking Medicity to get this platform out in the market. Actually creating a seamless platform with multiple modular apps that a physician can invoke on the fly while adhering to required privacy and security constraints may be a tad more difficult than Medicity originally envisioned.

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Chilmark Research is the only industry analyst firm focusing solely on health IT. We combine proven research methodologies with intelligence and insight to provide cogent analyses of the emerging technologies that have the greatest potential to improve healthcare. We do not shy away from making tough calls, and are respected in the industry for our direct and thoughtful commentary.