Mitochon Shuts Down Free EHR Service

The news just came out the Mitochon is shutting down their Free EHR service. They aren’t closing as a company (more details below), but they will no longer be offering EHR software. Here’s the full shutdown message:

Effective mid June 2013, Mitochon intends to exit the EHR market and cease our physician service.

We are sensitive that our providers’ medical practices will be affected by this. However this difficult decision has been driven by the need to focus on other lines of business, and the increasing liabilities we are incurring while supporting our free EHR service.

We will keep our active subscribers updated in the coming days as to how we will address the important issue of clinical data retrieval as well as possible alternate systems and solutions we are in discussion with.

It is with a heavy heart that we are existing the EHR market. The Mitochon team appreciates the support all of our clients have shown to us over the past few years and will work diligently to ensure this transition will be as smooth as possible for their practices.

Best Regards,
Dr. Andre Vovan & Mr. Chris Riley

Mitochon has been a great supporter of EMR and HIPAA over the years, and so I’m sorry that Dr. Vovan won’t be able to see his vision come to fruition with the Mitochon EHR. He was one of the first people I met who was talking about a community based approach to caring for patients. It’s interesting to see many of the topics he told me years ago are being talked about so much now in the world of ACOs.

As for the Mitochon EHR software, I won’t be surprised if some other players in the EHR space decide to take over the code and EHR business from Mitochon. There are actually a number of companies that have been white labeling the Mitochon EHR and it won’t surprise me if one of those companies takes over the codebase and users.

What’s likely more interesting is where Mitochon plans to take the company. Ever since I first met Mitochon years ago, their goal had been to build their own ad network and supply other third party networks. Now their focus will be exclusively on their content delivery and advertising network business. As Chris Riley, CEO, mentioned to me in an email, being in the EMR business and trying to partner with EMR vendors can often be a big issue.

Mitochon has some patents around CPT and ICD level targeting of ads. So, it will be interesting to see if Mitochon can become the pharma ad network for EMR companies. Although, there are a lot of non EMR opportunities for Pharma advertising as well. It will be interesting to see where Mitochon takes the company going forward.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • I had written about this in February and it does not surprise me at all.

    See my earlier post – ‘writing on the wall prediction’ here.

    I got a few phone calls from people that told me I was wrong and these guys knew what they were doing. I don’t question that, but it is all about execution isn’t it?

    So then, the next question is, what about Practice Fusion? Why is Practice Fusion still alive, and how is it making money?

    Practice Fusion free web based EMR claims it makes money on Ads. I did some math earlier, based on pure Ad model, it does not add up. I have to work the math again, but I am still not convinced.

    Read more here…

  • People were white labeling this free EHR? Did they charge?

    I think an EHR based on an advertising model is a pipe dream.

    Curious if they are shutting down due to lack of revenue or other…

  • More to come, bet on it! EMR companies shutting down with doctors left in the lurch and having to suffer great expense to switch or get someone else to support their system.

  • Chandresh,
    The ironic thing is that Practice Fusion could embrace Mitochon’s ad service and become profitable that way. We’ll see if PF goes that route or not, but it would be pretty crazy if that’s what happens.

    I still think there’s potential for the free model, but you definitely have to have scale to be able to do it. Luckily Practice Fusion has the deep pockets to be able to scale it. The question I have is whether they’re deep enough and whether their product can retain users and whether they can indeed monetize it properly. Lots of unknowns, but still potential.

    I’m not sure if the white label charged or not. I’m guessing they didn’t charge. They could switch to charging though as one option.

    I’d bet on it for sure. Lots more EMR companies will be shut down this year.

  • John, potential is always there and I for one would love to see ‘game changers’. Not easy, but certainly doable. PF, as you’ve said, has deep pockets.
    There are at least four potential revenue models.
    1. Ads
    2. ‘Sponsored’ patient education material based on assessment matching. (Pharma willing to pay big bucks).
    3. Rx – sample fulfillment, off-label use intelligence etc.
    4. Post Marketing ‘trials’.

    But the key to success here is – again, spot on John – scalability. Numbers of ‘real’ users, not just providers that signed up but don’t use the EMR the way it should.

  • Chandresh,
    It’s also about execution of those and other revenue models. Executing them is not an easy task, just like scaling users isn’t easy.

  • Moral of the story:
    It is not enough to be a web-based EMR.
    It is not enough to be a free EMR.
    It is not enough to be a certified EMR.
    To be successful and have long-term staying power (like Practice Fusion does), you have to have the marketing, support, rapid onboarding, service, design, ease-of-use, solid tech that scales, and broad-based approach to revenue that is more than just ads.

    If anyone has seen or worked with the Mitochon EMR, you’ll know they were free and web-based, but that was about it.

    I don’t care for gravedancing, so please don’t take this criticism as that.

    -Matthew Douglass
    Co-Founder, Practice Fusion

  • We’ll see how Mitochon does with their pivot. We’ll see how Practice Fusion does with that list as well. Still some large mountains to climb in a number of those areas. I think one area you didn’t mention that Practice Fusion will have to watch is retention. Free makes it easy to get on board, but it also makes it easy to leave.

  • So they say they didn’t shut down completely but they have all our medical records. I never received the export data file and can’t get hold of ANYONE either by phone of email. How does one go about getting our medical records from this absent but still open EHR company?

  • Hi Vicky,
    I emailed the CEO and he sent the following message: “Thanks we are on it and will fix it” Hopefully they’ve reached out to you to help.

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