In early 2015, Chiropractic Economics reported on the merger of ChiroTouch and Future Health, two of the largest vendors of EHR systems for doctors of chiropractic.
This merger was notable in that two major competitors in the software industry had chosen to combine forces. And in so doing, they were able to merge their technologies and offer a more robust EHR system, under the flagship ChiroTouch brand.
Now, there have been additional developments at ChiroTouch, and we’re updating our coverage.
In the summer of 2017, Waud Capital Partners, LLC, a capital investment firm based in Chicago, made a strategic acquisition of ChiroTouch, and Waud’s software industry executive, George Ahn, was brought in as the new ChiroTouch CEO, while Robert Moberg, the previous CEO of ChiroTouch, was named president and also appointed to the ChiroTouch board of directors.
Ahn has an extensive career in the software industry, with particular expertise in the technology sector, which made him a natural fit for this position.
Prior to taking the helm at ChiroTouch, Ahn was a “C” level executive at a few firms, and most recently with Tririga and IBM. Ahn commented, “I went to the Florida Chiropractic Association annual convention as one of my initial endeavors with the ChiroTouch team, and was so impressed.” He took note of the ChiroTouch presence there, and recognized some characteristics it shared with other companies he’s worked with.
“In my background with Siebel Systems and PeopleSoft, we were major firms with the largest footprints in their field and staffed with passionate employees. When I looked at ChiroTouch, I saw these similarities.” Those traits matter a great deal to Ahn, as he looks for great customers, great partners and great energy.
One of the things he finds most exciting is that the EHR user base is generally composed of small offices and clinics, but the doctors have invested a great deal into them. “How do we help them keep up with quality and regulations, and continue to grow their businesses?” Ahn asks. “We want to help them with technology to improve patient care. We’re 100 percent committed to them.”
When looking at near- and long-term challenges, Ahn says that if ChiroTouch invests correctly and makes the right decisions, downstream business benefits will follow for the more than 15,000 installed ChiroTouch systems.
Over the past six months, as he’s been familiarizing himself with his new role, he’s been increasingly involved in strategic decisions regarding the ChiroTouch platform. Armed with the extensive resources of Waud Capital Partners, he’s overseeing major investments into the company’s infrastructure and R&D.
For example, ChiroTouch has doubled its support and developer teams: “This is a tremendous expense,” Ahn notes. “You can’t do all this with one developer—you need a team. And this investment will pay off.”
A changing model
“We wanted to continue to invest in the ChiroTouch platform. We earlier had a semi-cloud-based architecture, and over time we’re migrating to a wholly cloud-based platform.”
One of the recent major changes he’s been implementing is an overhaul of the company’s payment model. Traditionally, customers would purchase a ChiroTouch EHR system outright, and then pay for an annual maintenance plan. To make the software more affordable, the company now offers a subscription model and customers can pay as they go.
“And we’ve more than doubled our infrastructure to support that,” Ahn says. “We’re looking how to keep up with changes in technology and stay ahead of regulations.”
Ahn stresses that the success of the company is dependent on the success of its customers. “Our bigger focus was how to help the profession,” he says. First and foremost, the new ownership is looking to invest back into the product and the profession. As an example, Ahn points to how they’ve doubled their physical space at the company’s headquarters, but notes wryly that even so, space is at a premium.
A major challenge lying ahead is the issue of interoperability between EHR systems. Ahn says he’d like to talk to other vendors about that. “We talk a lot about compliance, and that’s something we look at as well. We speak with experts like Kathy Mills Chang, and it’s a huge area for us.”
Staying close to the profession
Expect ChiroTouch to increasingly promote doctor education. This support goes beyond training in the use of their software and will include information about compliance and regulations. “As we look out longer term, it’s really about improving the community,” Ahn says. “We’ll continue to learn from the industry, which continues to evolve.”
Another area of focus will be the further development of the company’s practice management tools. This embraces the tracking of data and analytics and is looking forward to engaging with DC’s and the Colleges to provide the best value. “We have to stay close to the profession and understand it in order to better serve the profession.”
Further down the road, the company may look to take advantage of new technologies, like artificial intelligence. “But not many clinics are prepared to spend a large amount on predictive analytics. What DCs need is just the right data in the right amount.” In terms of industry trends, Ahn notices that integrated practices are on the rise: “If a DC decides to bring in a partner, how does our software help them? It’s important to understand how health care and chiropractic are changing, and we have the funding and capability to grow with it. That’s why I’m so excited and enthusiastic.”