Kirstan Vandersluis got the idea to consolidate all of his medical records in a single cloud-based application after his doctor moved out of state.
The Colorado Springs entrepreneur hopes to grow his Connetix Health, which developed the mCharts application, into a $20 million to $30 million company that employs 200 people to put medical records of more than 1 million customers in one online location within three years. He started the company in March with $50,000 of his savings and $175,000 from three angel investors and hopes to begin testing the application next month with 10-20 friends and family members.
“There is a model for this in the financial services industry with mint.com. MCharts works in much the same way as Mint by pulling information from multiple providers and presents it in a way that is easily understandable,” said Vandersluis, who is president and chief technology officer of Connetix Health. “The format is easy to read and give you a comprehensive look at your health to optimize the patient experience.”
Because users request their medical records, privacy isn’t an issue.
He came up with the idea for mCharts in early 2016 after his doctor moved to Washington state, prompting Vandersluis to start gathering his medical records to look for another physician. He ended up switching to another doctor in the same practice, but the difficulty in assembling his medical records prompted him to come up with a way to centralize them in a single online location.
“The doctor’s office had to print off all of these files and give me this big stack of paper, and I also found that a stress test I had done earlier wasn’t even kept when the provider converted to electronic medical records,” Vandersluis said. “I realized (health care) businesses don’t have much incentive to manage my records over the long term.”
Vandersluis has extensive experience using technology to gather and consolidate data. He was a co-founder of Colorado Springs-based XAware, which was started in 1999 to help companies integrate data and other software applications. The company was an early tenant of the Colorado Springs Technology Incubator and raised $25 million in venture capital before it was sold in 2009 to Salt Lake City-based Sparxent.
MCharts is targeted at adults between ages 40 and 60 as well as young families and will be offered by November as a free version with advertisements or a premium version for $50 a year, Vandersluis said. Early testing with 10-20 family members and friends is scheduled to begin in August with a broader test by 100-200 technology-savvy volunteers from along the Front Range in September.
The application will initially be web-based with versions later for mobile devices using the Apple and Android operating systems, Vandersluis said. The application will draw information from physician practices, hospitals and other medical providers and present it in a variety of formats, including a central dashboard to access all health data, a timeline that shows new, pending and resolved health issues, a feed with each new medical interaction listed and a body map that presents each medical condition on a diagram of a human body.
Vandersluis is the company’s only full-time employee, but he uses two part-time U.S. software developers and a team of developers in India. As the company grows, he plans to hire an outside CEO and eventually up to 200 employees in business development, sales and technical support. He wants to raise $275,000 more from angel investors in the next few months and likely will seek venture capital in the next few years to help grow the company more quickly.
Vandersluis spent much of his career in software development, most recently as an information technology consultant where among other projects he was lead integration architect in installing the HealthRx occupational health platform at the University of Michigan Health Services. He said that job gave him “insight into the health care industry and was a stepping stone” for starting Connetix Health.
Before his work as a consultant, Vandersluis also was engineering lead for Springs-based defense contractor Intelligent Software Solutions (now part of Parsons Corp.), MCI Telecommunications (now owned by Verizon), Array Microsystems and SofTech. He came to Colorado Springs in 1984 as a software development engineer with the Air Force working on modernizing the missile warning system at the North American Aerospace Defense Command.