Serial Entrepreneur Peter Tippett Hopes To Improve America's Health Care System

Mike Unger | Think | May 1, 2017

Peter Tippett Has Spent His Life at the Nexus of Science and Technology. Now He's Turned His Attention to a Project He Hopes Will Improve America's Health-Care System

These days, the energetic and innovative Tippett is tackling perhaps his biggest challenge yet: turning the bloated, costly and cumbersome world of electronic medical records on its head. Instead of relying on institution-controlled health information exchanges to share records, Tippett wants to empower doctors and patients. The name of his company— HealthCelerate—hints at the urgency with which he wants to transform the system, and a lifetime of cutting-edge achievement suggests he may be just the guy for the challenge.

Peter Tippett Photo by Cameron Davidson-Think“You’d think in 15 years of trying to put medical record products in every hospital that we’d have solved this problem,” he said. “But even today, if you want to send something from some big organization to some little place out in the country, it still comes on paper. And if you want to go get your mom’s medical record, good luck with that. It’s the law—they must give it to your mom if she wants it—but they often give it to her on paper, or on a CD or DVD. If you take the DVD to the next doctor, it will be unusable and incompatible with the electronic medical record systems of the vast majority of doctors. This is today!”

...Tippett argues...Instead of relying on hospitals to share, he wants to allow doctors or patients easy access and share the patients’ records. HealthCelerate has built a system that was launched in late February. It is disruptive to the machine-to-machine, big-system-to-big-system model because it’s controlled by individuals. A cloud-based service allows patients or doctors to send medical records to other doctors regardless of the original format, and allows doctors to access the records regardless of the platform they use...

“All I’m doing is making it easier for you or your doctor to have your complete record in a way that’s usable by machines and people so we can get the benefit of digitization on a personal level,” Tippett said. If he succeeds, Tippett may alter a major component of American health care. It’s a tall task, certainly, but at heart, he remains a tinkerer, determined to disrupt the system until he gets it just right. “I still have that desire to actually fix things,” he said. “This notion of doing something big enough to actually change the course of security, or health care, or whatever—if that’s within your grasp, why wouldn’t you do it?”...