Box.com’s odd swerve into healthcare cloud storage and PHRs

click to enlarge Both The Gimlet Eye (filing from a remote island) and Editor Donna have been pleased users of the Box.com file storage site for storing all sorts of files in the ‘cloud’ (a/k/a Somewhere Out There On A Whole Bunch Of Internet Servers), sharing and collaboration. It’s simple to use, it works and, for our needs, actually free. However founders Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith, who look barely old enough to shave (but smartly have A Touch of Grey in their management team), have their eyes set on far bigger prizes than our mediocre needs. Now they have added ‘special advisers’ Aneesh Chopra, first US CTO, and Glen Tullman, former CEO of Allscripts. Mr. Tullman certainly does add major luster (and connections) and Mr. Chopra, despite the Eye’s consideration of him as hyperbolic and politically, not technically, qualified for his previous positions in the Government and the state of Virginia, adds the inevitable political ones. Having them on the roster also adds heft to their imminently rumored IPO (TechCrunch; update, filed 24 March) and ultimately acing out other file sharers Dropbox in the enterprise area. Expectations are high; Box has $414 million in funding from a roster of investors (including Telefónica and Australia’s Telstra) through a Series F (CrunchBase) with a valuation of $2 billion (TechCrunch) and undoubtedly they’d like some of it back. Soon. (The completely overheated Castlight Health IPO only whets the appetite.)

Healthcare one key to a rich IPO. Box’s healthcare moves point in the enterprise direction. Early last year, Box was certified as both HIPAA and HITECH-compliant for storing and sharing medical records. This enabled them to develop partnerships in care coordination, clinical documentation, interoperability and other areas (ZDNet 25 Apr 13), later picking up health system and related enterprise users by the bunch. Effective tomorrow (21 March), they are moving into the PHR business by providing the file sharing platform (starting tomorrow) for EHR CareCloud, which claims 7 million patients covered. Patients can now download their records to their own Box account and store/share them as needed. The Eye agrees with Neil Versel that this is quite less than it seems–only a fraction of CareCloud’s 7 million patients will ever set up a PHR. They’ve gained little user traction (except in the courts, where not-a-patent troll MMRGlobal keeps companies and countries busy). It remains to be seen if Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2 might give this a push, and the ease of Box might be appealing, but the IPO will come much sooner than PHR takeup. It does look good, though. Box release. ZDNet.

Update–Speaking of that IPO…Box filed initial papers (the S-1) with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) on 24 March and intends to trade on the New York Stock Exchange, not the techie NASDAQ. The public announcement (tweeted, of course) indicates that they intend to be valued over $1 billion, as under that amount the filing can be confidential under the JOBS Act. Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, and JPMorgan Chase head the IPO with intents to raise $250 million. ZDNet

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