Health IT companies Datica, Sansoro Health merge

Healthcare IT companies Datica and Sansoro Health announced on Wednesday that they have merged and will now offer the industry a self-service platform for securing cloud-based applications and integrating patient data from multiple sources.

Datica, founded in 2013, operates a cloud-based digital health platform. The company provides an infrastructure for application developers from digital health startups to health systems and vendors. The platform meets compliance standards such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and HITRUST cybersecurity framework certification.

Sansoro Health, launched in 2014, provides integration software for electronic medical record platforms.

The company retains the Datica name and is headquartered in Minneapolis. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The combined company works with large healthcare customers such as Johnson & Johnson, VigiLanz, Wolters Kluwer Health, and Vineti.

Jeremy Pierotti, previous CEO and co-founder of Sansoro Health, will assume the role of CEO. Travis Good, M.D., previous Datica CEO and co-founder, will serve as chief technology officer.

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The merger points to the broader trend of consolidation in the health IT industry. There have been a number of deals just in 2019—DocuTAP, an EMR and practice management software company, merged with Practice Velocity, and Harris Healthcare acquired clinical communications company Uniphy Health.

Healthcare is rapidly migrating to the cloud with global healthcare cloud spend projected to grow from $24 billion this year to $55 billion by 2025, according to Global Market Insights.

"In health IT, the future is the cloud," Pierotti told Fierce Healthcare, citing increased use of public cloud services by healthcare companies. "As we listen to our customers and what they are trying to accomplish, we recognize they are moving to the cloud. There is an increasing need to incorporate patient data and to be able to grab that data, move that data securely, and store it securely into a cloud environment. But developers are encountering two primary challenges that come with using patient data in the cloud—data integration and compliance requirements."

Developers must contend with HIPAA regulations as well as the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe and HITRUST certification to address cybersecurity standards.

"There are staggering hurdles to bringing advanced digital health solutions to market,” Pierotti said in a release. “We know the complexity of health data exchange and compliance, and our products streamline development and management of cloud-based applications."

Historically, healthcare data is stored in on-premises, siloed data systems at health insurers and health systems, and developers contend with decades-old technologies and variable standards to exchange data. 

"There are data exchange challenges with different data formats, and developers need to make sure that data is secured in transit and at rest," Pierotti said.

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Both companies have been working separately to address these challenges. "There are a new generation of data exchange methods, most application programming interface-based. Sansoro's approach has been with a robust, custom API with its Emissary product. Datica has worked with customers to convert patient data to a FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) format," Pierotti said.

The combined company offers a scalable platform to address these data integration and compliance challenges, Pierotti said.

Datica provides healthcare companies with a reliable partner for developing solutions that make use of patient data in the cloud, Good said: "With our platform, previously cumbersome development processes become frictionless, resulting in enhanced, secure solutions at lower cost and with greater speed to market."

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“We’ve had great success partnering with both Sansoro Health and Datica for data integration with our platforms,” Jean-Claude Saghbini, CTO of Wolters Kluwer Health, said in a statement. “Datica’s vision of bringing data together to support digital healthcare in a manner that is compliant with the security requirements of the industry aligns with the future of health IT. This has the opportunity to unlock tremendous innovation.”

“There is an obvious need for SaaS products that allow innovators to develop compliant, cloud-based digital health solutions,” Yumin Choi, partner at Bain Capital Ventures, said in a statement. “Healthcare’s growing adoption of the cloud is inevitable, and that means increased use of patient data. We are thrilled to support the growth of Datica’s trusted solutions that solve the complexities of interoperability and compliance.”

The new Board of Directors includes individuals from the previous Sansoro Health and Datica boards. These individuals are Choi; Keith J. Figlioli, general partner at LRVHealth; Brian Hopcraft, managing director at Lewis and Clark Ventures; Omar Hussain, former CEO of Imprivata; and Micky Tripathi, CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, as well as Good and Pierotti.