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Former Allscripts head Tullman dives into mHealth with Zest

By Jennifer Bresnick

There’s plenty of life after Allscripts for former CEO Glen Tullman, whose post-resignation plans have been the subject of industry speculation since 2012.  After announcing his move into mHealth with a new startup this spring, Tullman gave a more thorough overview of his efforts to bring connected healthcare to the masses in an interview with mHealthNews.  Zest Health is the name of the new company backed by Tullman’s 7Wire Ventures investment firm, and it plans to give consumers the tools they need to seek out affordable, quality healthcare while keeping their personal health information (PHI) in their pocket.

In a partnership with Groupon gurus Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky of Lightbank, Tullman and former Allscripts COO Lee Shapiro are backing the development of a mobile app that allows users to find and schedule appointments with cost-effective healthcare providers, access their PHI, and conduct research on conditions and diseased through trusted resources.  “We want to treat people as consumers…who want instant access [to information and resources] that will help them make intelligent decisions,” Tullman explained.

The company will market itself to larger self-insured businesses, which can buy the app on behalf of their employees and use the data to make smarter decisions about their health insurance costs and needs.  But ultimately, it’s the consumer who will benefit from Zest’s ingenuity, Tullman asserts.  “Consumers have access to all of this information, but now can they use it to make care better.  We’re giving them one place where they can go to make all of those decisions.”

“If you want to engage patients or consumers, you can either build a portal and hope they go to it, or you can go to them.  Use a device that’s ubiquitous,” he said in May, to give consumers quick and comprehensive access to the thing they want the most: convenience.    Zest hopes to provide the experience of concierge medicine without additional costs, letting mHealth users focus on keeping themselves well without undue hassle.  “No one wants to be a patient.  You don’t want to consume hospital services. [Healthcare] should be consumer-centric.  When it doesn’t work, then it becomes patient-centric.”

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