Linda Boles joined Vion in the fall of 2014 to help lead the company’s expansion aims in the federal healthcare market as director of healthcare strategies and business development.
The 20-year sector veteran spent seven years at Cisco‘s U.S. public sector arm as chief strategist for innovation and business development and also holds a clinical medical background.
ExecutiveBiz recently spoke with Boles to get her perspective on how public-private partnerships have evolved in the federal healthcare and what technological trends she believes will shape the sector going forward.
ExecutiveBiz: What two areas have you focused on primarily since you joined ViON?
Linda Boles: From a solutions perspective, we look at the federal healthcare market as it relates to linking our customers’ technology investments with clinical and business processes in the areas of big data analytics/cybersecurity and on-demand/private cloud opportunities. In addition, we’re focused on partnering with healthcare application vendors to quickly enable their applications by making the technology piece of implementation seamless for rapid deployment.
ExecutiveBiz: On which parts of the federal healthcare market is ViON focusing?
Linda Boles: From a federal healthcare agency perspective, we’re focused on the VA, DHA and HHS family of agencies with particular emphasis on Indian Health Services, FDA and some of the smaller agencies like SAMSHA, ATSDR, AHRQ and, of course, HHS IT Buyers Club led by Mr. Naggar.
ExecutiveBiz: How do you see the role of cloud and big data in healthcare evolving this year?
Linda Boles: We all know capital IT budgets are shrinking, and there is more to do with fewer resources, so the private cloud/on-demand financial model is very appealing in order to save money and get the job done. Currently, more than 10 federal agencies already use the private cloud/on-demand model and many more are looking to change their procurement methods towards that model. But, change is not easy, and it can take over a year to get procurement directives in line.
Executive Biz: What is another federal healthcare trend we should follow in 2015?
Linda Boles: Within active archiving, there are two specific trends to watch — unstructured data growth and storage mandates.
Unstructured data is growing at a rate of 75 percent versus structured structured at 23 percent. The healthcare market has a major pain point here that can be addressed with active storage archiving because of the rich content produced in images such as radiology and video files.
Healthcare governance and compliance mandates require content to be saved from anywhere between 30 and 100 years, depending on the type of data. So, storage and archiving of this data becomes very important and can add incredible costs.
All this ties back into big data in healthcare. Healthcare data is required for business intelligence analytics to improve patient care, while making clinicians more effective and the promoter’s business less expensive. By effectively archiving their least important data to lower tiers of storage capacity, federal healthcare agencies can save millions of dollars annually.
Executive Biz: Where do you see opportunity for public-private partnerships in healthcare going forward?
Linda Boles: One type of partnership that is growing is to prevent fraud and abuse, which involves the feds, the states and private insurance companies.
Another is the health information exchange: we see HHS ONC, states and private sector healthcare providers coming together to improve healthcare delivery and financing.
For healthcare, these partnerships are all about collaboration and bringing the right technologies and applications together to make them work to the benefit of healthcare agencies and the patients they serve.