Interoperability platform maker, Rhapsody, is planning on retaining existing customers and winning new ones through a renewed focus on product development and consulting services.
For years the Rhapsody integration engine served as the “gateway” into Orion Health’s portfolio of products. There was a natural progression from Rhapsody to the company’s other offerings including Amadeus (precision medicine), Consult (EMR) and Coordinate (care collaboration). However, as the depth and breadth of their offerings grew, Orion Health began to compete with an increasing number of companies that used Rhapsody to power their applications.
“It got to the point where it was really hard to grow the Rhapsody business,“ admitted Andrew Turley, Chief Marketing Officer at Rhapsody.
In October 2018, Orion Health completed the sale of the Rhapsody platform to private equity firm Hg for $205 Million. Since then, the company has focused on staffing up its engineering team and rapidly releasing product enhancements. It has grown to 90 people and they have plans to hire 30 more by the end of the year.
“Refocusing on the product has really re-energized our customer base,” continued Turley. “People are excited about Rhapsody again and are looking forward to the enhancements on our roadmap.”
The approach seems to be working. There was plenty of foot traffic in the Rhapsody booth at the recent HIMSS19 conference in Orlando. In a 30-minute period, I counted over 25 demonstrations and conversations happening in the company’s booth.
“The reaction from customers has been overwhelmingly positive,” stated Erkan Akyuz, President and CEO of Rhapsody. “Most encouraging, is the response from potential strategic partners. We have had a number of meaningful conversations here at HIMSS19 with companies who are interested in using the Rhapsody platform.”
Focusing on partners is a smart strategy for Rhapsody.
On the Monday of HIMSS19, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) unveiled new details about its information blocking rule. The 1,000 page document released by HHS included clarification on the definition of information blocking, specifics on when patient health information must be shared, and details on the data standards that it would like to see adopted by the healthcare industry.
The proposed rule puts pressure on Health IT companies who must now ensure they have the necessary infrastructure to share data easily and in a standardized format. Rather than build interoperability capabilities from scratch, many companies will turn to ready-made platforms like Rhapsody to meet the requirements. By positioning itself as a partner-friendly company, Rhapsody can benefit from this rising demand from application developers.
There is another trend that could buoy Rhapsody – the growth in the number of healthcare devices. According to ResearchAndMarkets.com, the Global IoT Healthcare Market is expected to grow from 41.22 billion in 2017 to $405.65 billion by 2026. This growth is being driven by an increase in the number of in-patient monitoring devices as well as by devices designed specifically for patients to use to track and monitor their health at home.
The data collected by these devices needs to be integrated into the healthcare ecosystem (with EHRs, data analytics engines and even with other devices). Interoperability platforms like Rhapsody are an obvious solution for this need.
Being well-positioned for success, however, does not guarantee success. Rhapsody will have to continue to work hard to convince existing as well as new customers that it is serious about investing in its platform.
“I am cautiously optimistic about Rhapsody,” said an existing customer visiting the company’s booth who wished to remain anonymous. “There have been many promises made to us about product enhancements and better customer support in the past. Those promises proved to be empty. Now that Rhapsody is an independent company with new management, I am hopeful. So far, they have made good on their promises.”
I am sure there are many Rhapsody customers just like this one who are hoping the company is truly singing a new tune.