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Birmingham’s health information technology industry gets national publicity

By Michael Tomberlin | 
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on June 20, 2014 at 4:33 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The Magic City has been singled out in a magazine and website focusing on healthcare information technology.

Health IT Outcomes highlights the growing healthcare information technology industry in Birmingham in a recent story by its editor in chief.

In the article entitled “Birmingham’s Health IT Breeding Ground,” Ken Congdon wrote about his recent visit to Birmingham where he learned of UAB‘s and Innovation Depot‘s role in helping grow the health IT industry here.

The article also highlights the work of Birmingham companies such asMedSnap,Suture HealthVipaarand TheraNestat Innovation Depot along with Proventix andPharmaPoint.

“I was previously aware that a handful of health IT vendors were based in Birmingham (namely, MEDSEEK and Source Medical Solutions),” Congdon wrote in the article. “However, I was unaware of how extensive the region’s health IT influence actually is.”

MedSnap is among the companies singled out in the story on Birmingham in Health IT Outcomes. (contributed)

Getting singled out in such an area of growth for the Birmingham economy is significant, said Steven Ceulemans, vice president of innovation and technology at the Birmingham Business Alliance.

The article “is a very accurate representation of the things he saw and the feeling he left with,” Ceulemans said. “From our perspective, any exposure of a nationwide or global perspective helps us put into context what is happening here.”

He said the growth of health IT is not a big surprise given the fact that both healthcare and information technology have been growth industries in the Birmingham area for several years.

UAB and other entities have long-established Birmingham as a regional and national hub for healthcare, Ceulemans said. Information technology accounts for more than half of the technology industries in Birmingham, he said, noting that one national ranking puts Birmingham 36th in information technology among metro areas.

“If you put those two pieces together in your mind, it’s no wonder that healthcare and information technology would intersect in Birmingham in a major way,” Ceulemans said.

Healthcare reform, venture capital interest and other elements will join the existing features that have solidified Birmingham’s standing in health IT, Ceulemans predicted.

“We will be doing great things in the future in this industry here,” he said.

Ceulemans said it is the quality of the health IT being done here that is as impressive as the quantity of start-ups in the field. The technology being created is addressing very real needs the healthcare industry has identified and is what is getting the companies noticed, he said.

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