Firefox Goes to the Doctor

Hoping to achieve in healthcare what Quicken has in personal finance, start up SimoHealth is developing personal healthcare management software that keeps track of a patient's medical history, expenses and reconciles what is happening from the top down. Underneath the baseline software lies Firefox.

SimoHealth has turned to Firefox to serve as its backend so that it can integrate rich Internet capabilities into its software. When customers access Internet healthcare resources, the focus remains within the application and the software does not fire off a browser.

Although the user is not aware of Firefox, customers that use the software may be pioneering a Firefox first by using commercial software that is layered on top of the browser's source code.

SimoHealth contributes to the Firefox community by adding to the Firefox base and reporting bugs.

On the desktop the software keeps tabs on complex transactions by reconciling payments with a user's explanation of benefits. Expense management is integrated with medical history, which may be input by the end user or downloaded from healthcare providers where available.

Electronic resources may include a doctor's Web site or electronic medical information formatted in the emerging continuity of care record (CCR) XML standard.

In a conversation with BetaNews, CEO and Founder Todd Lash acknowledged that it might be 5-10 years until medical providers upgrade information systems and the format becomes ubiquitous, saying that large medical groups would be among the first to adopt.

Lash said that he personally benefited by using the software and saved $300 USD after he reviewed a transaction. "With SimoHealth you only pay what you owe," Lash told BetaNews. "15 seconds of data entry can give you the sense of being completely on top of things. People need help to understand what their responsibility is."

More advanced features include the ability to monitor healthcare savings accounts and discover tax deductible expenses, consolidate many medical disciplines into one location, monitor insurance claims and grievances, and produce detailed reports by breaking down medical expenses into categories.

A beta release of the software is currently available from the SimoHealth Web site. The final release is expected within the next 30 days. SimoHealth may be purchased directly upon release or may become available through employer benefit packages.

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