The cost of healthcare may be perpetually increasing, and the ways of paying for it increasingly convoluted, but there is at least one bright spot for healthcare — the explosion of innovation in the IT sector that promises to transform the way every healthcare provider does business.
From the patient’s point of view, this revolution could mean cheaper, better healthcare and better communication with healthcare professionals. From the business perspective, a host of technology companies are looking at the healthcare sector as a potential market for new products. For investors, it means an opportunity for huge growth.
On Tuesday, July 11, the New Jersey Technology Council will host the Health Information Technology Summit, bringing together industry leaders to discuss the many ways in which computers are changing healthcare. The summit will begin at 8 a.m. at the New Jersey Hospital Association, 760 Alexander Road. The cost is $60 for NJIT members and $90 for non-members.
Ian Goldstein of the law firm Drinker Biddle will moderate a panel that includes Dr. John Lumpkin, senior VP and director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s healthcare group; Mary E. Dowd, commissioner of the state Department of Health; Al Campanella, executive VP of strategic business growth and analytics for Virtua; Dr. Paul Katz, dean of the Cooper Medical School; and other industry heavyweights.
The summit is aimed at company leaders throughout the health IT industry.
If anyone knows the Central New Jersey landscape of health IT companies, it is Goldstein. As a corporate lawyer, Goldstein has helped both startup companies and the investors who fund them. He has been involved with companies as large as Merck and as small as the occupants of the TigeLabs startup accelerator. He has also worked with Princeton University’s Keller Center for Engineering and many others in the startup and investing community.
Goldstein, who got his undergraduate and law degrees from Rutgers, grew up in Manalapan, the son of an engineer father and a receptionist mother. He sees vast potential in the ability of mobile computers to remotely monitor patients.
“Remote monitoring is fascinating,” he says. “The ability to actually have devices that people carry around with them, whether it’s an iPhone or a body patch, and have that be able to monitor different aspects of yourself, whether it be heart rate or blood glucose, and have that remotely monitored and delivered to your doctor is one of the most fascinating things that is going on.”
Where there are new ideas, however, there are potential legal pitfalls. Goldstein works with companies to navigate the many regulatory and legal snares that come with the territory.
“There are a number of things that are challenging,” he says. “There is a huge regulatory overlay to everything that happens in the healthcare world: privacy issues, lots of anti-kickback laws, and a lot of laws that make it a little bit difficult to do what you want to do digitally, which you can do in a lot of other digital spaces.”
While Goldstein works with a wide variety of companies, there is one piece of advice he gives to anyone developing a product for the healthcare industry. “Avoid taking shortcuts,” he says. “There are ways to develop business consistent with the regulatory environment and if you drive forward and create something that has problems, it’s hard to unwind and build it again from the ground up.”