Natalie Sevcik

Six takeaways from Sagnik Bhattacharya’s HIStalk interview

Mr. HIStalk interviewed Rhapsody CEO Sagnik Bhattacharya about the future of digital health, how the market is shifting, and the role he sees the company playing in this ongoing transformation. Aside from learning he always cheers for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, here are six major takeaways from their conversation: 

  1. There’s this tension right now between digital health adoption, innovation, AI, and having tighter IT budgets. Rhapsody is a technology platform that enables interoperability across healthcare systems with the goal being digital health adoption.  
  1. The way we see it is that interoperability is more about enabling others to do the work that they are trying to do. Interoperability is not a goal onto itself.  
  1. Talking about security, there is a security part and a privacy part. The technical concerns are solvable and people have become very aware of those things. On the privacy side, there are still open questions around whether patients know where their data is going and how we can make sure the right guardrails are in place for the appropriate use of patient data with the right level of transparency and accountability.  
  1. There are three ways to set-up a business model around APIs. You can have a transaction-based model, a data-based model, and a software-based model. My personal belief is, over time, it will gravitate towards the third model. It can’t be as much of a system where the amount of usage or data flowing is tied to the business because that creates disincentives for greater interoperability.  
  1. The potential for TEFCA over the next three to four years would be to enable some additional use cases such as for payment and operation, which will allow not just provider-to-provider and patient access, but also allow data to seamlessly flow between payers and providers and other non-treatment stakeholders for the patient.  
  1. Rhapsody wants to build generalizable software and make it flexible so that our customers don’t have to buy point solutions for different things. Customers shouldn’t need to buy different things for APIs, FHIR, or anything else. We can create generalizable software that fits all needs.  

Sagnik closed the interview by encouraging everyone to think about interoperability more broadly and to make sure all parts of the healthcare system have the data needed to deliver the value their supposed to deliver.  

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