Photo courtesy of Travis Good.

Clearing up cloud confusion

The Protected Health Information (PHI) of millions of Americans is being stored on cloud computing services. Protecting a patient’s PHI—which is worth 10 times more than a patient’s credit card number on the black market—is a critical priority for health care organizations, as well as maintaining compliance with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) regulations.

After years of examining these challenges, Dr. Travis Good (BSBA ’01, MS ISOM ’02) has created a solution with his cloud-based platform, Catalyze.

It’s difficult to find someone more perfectly suited for this type of venture than Good. He’s a triple threat with successful backgrounds in business, medicine and technology. His expertise in business and technology began at Warrington where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Decision & Information Science—now Information Systems & Operations Management.

“I knew I wanted to be in business,” said Good, 36. “At the time, I didn’t know one day I’d be running my own business.”

After earning his degrees at Warrington, Good remained on the business technology path analyzing security systems at PwC and Booz Allen Hamilton. His three passions merged after earning his M.D. from the University of Colorado in 2011.

“Spending time as a consultant, it showed me I really wanted to have a bit more ownership over what I’m doing,” Good said. “After I finished medical school, I felt like the impact I could have would be much more valuable in that sort of intersection. I felt I had a unique perspective and background where I could take what I’ve learned and move the health industry forward.”

Cloud platforms became a popular alternative when Amazon introduced Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2002. AWS prospered in most industries, but did not gain a secure foothold in health care due to HIPAA regulations among other issues. Health organizations that store PHI must be HIPAA compliant. If not, those organizations are penalized with hefty fines, and would lose patients’ trust wondering if their personal information was secure.

Catalyze provides “HIPAA compliance for the cloud.” Catalyze creates a private, encrypted network for each client, monitors that network for nefarious system activity, tracks the network’s access and usage, and backs up all data in case of a disaster scenario. Good’s prior consulting work and his ability to see a gap in the marketplace, has established Catalyze as a trusted service. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Blue Shield of California are among Catalyze’s clients.

“Working with big companies—pharmaceutical, insurance, medicine—it opened my eyes,” Good said. “The influx of new technologies was creating a massive shift in the industry. Seeing that trend, there would have to be unique requirements from a security and data perspective.”

Good said there is a view that information in cloud-based systems is not as secure. He said that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“There’s this perception of a loss of control when health systems or insurance companies shift data to a cloud environment.” Good said. “In reality, it is much more secure and efficient than in its own data center.”

Health care organizations are learning that fact, and are leveraging Catalyze products and services. Good said Catalyze, which launched in 2013, is doing very little outbound marketing yet is consistently gathering new clients. The combination of the company’s success along with cloud computing still being in its infancy positions Catalyze for a bright future.

“We have big aspirations,” Good said. “We’re confident as we offer more and more services for our core applications, we’ll take the industry out of its infancy and make it more mainstream.”