Exploring the limitless field of health information technology with some of the best and brightest
Interview of Raj Toleti
by Janette Wider, Editor, Health Management Technology (Link to Original Article)
What’s your background up to your current role?
I come from an extended family that has more than 20 physicians among its ranks. As you can imagine, when I decided to pursue healthcare in a different capacity than was the norm in my family, it was met with some skepticism. Being exposed to so many physicians and hearing firsthand some of their frustrations gave me an idea that IT could revolutionize healthcare in a way that had never been seen before.
Over the course of my career, I have led three successful startup ventures including Galvanon (acquired by NCR in 2005) and Cytura Corporation (acquired by Mobius in 2002). The Galvanon and Cytura teams were among the first to develop technologies that improved patient experience.
Prior to founding HealthGrid, I worked as the President of Coordinated Care Solutions at PatientPoint. The work I did there solidified my vision for creating a complete enterprise patient engagement platform.
I currently serve as an Advisory Board Member of the Association for Executives in Healthcare Information Technology (AEHIT), am a professional member organization of CHIME, and I am a Board Member of the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation.
What advice do you have to give to those looking to enter the healthcare IT space?
Health IT is a very crowded space. You must find your calling and really have the staying power to realize your dream. Starting a company in Health IT is not for the weak-hearted (no pun intended). The journey from concept inception to revenue and sustainability is now reaching five years. Every year, over 95% of the Health IT startups fail. To recognize success requires significant vision and focus. Having said all of this, I am not trying to scare away young entrepreneurs. Rather, I am saying you need to go into this space eyes-wide-open and completely and truly believe in your mission.
What’s your favorite technology right now?
I am a strong AI/Bot advocate. In the early ’90s I wrote my Master’s thesis on utilizing AI to help navigate autonomous vehicles on different terrains and in different traffic patterns. Over the course of my 20-year career, I have been inspired and motivated by the work I did on that thesis. Today I am getting a chance to use AI to help patients navigate the traffic patterns of their care journey—making that thesis a reality!