Fio Chairman Michael Greenberg says that to get elusive data critical for managing vast healthcare spending, give health workers smart devices to help diagnose and treat patients first, and capture data as a side-benefit.

Fio Corporation Chairman and CEO Michael Greenberg said that lack of timely, precise metrics associated with the trillions of dollars spent annually in decentralized healthcare delivery makes waste inevitable and literally incalculable: “Show me a system with poor feedback and I'll show you tons of waste,” he said at the inaugural WIRED Health event in London, UK.

Healthcare IT systems — complex, massive, top-down, infrastructure-heavy systems — exist mostly in centralized facilities, such as hospitals and medical centers. However, the vast majority of patients are seen and the vast majority of money is spent in decentralized settings, Dr. Greenberg explained, such as clinics, health posts, and offices, from which only minuscule data is captured. The reason comes down to health workers: if they don't capture the data, no-one gets the data; but their job is to deliver care, not capture data.

Fio gives health workers a device that helps them do what they're supposed to do, and what they want to do — deliver better care, said Dr. Greenberg. Once integrated into workflow to deliver care, that same device automates and streamlines the “bottom-up” capture of valuable data.

Using any mobile-phone network, the device automatically and securely uploads the data to a cloud database, which authorized stakeholders can access via secure web portals.

Dr. Greenberg shared examples of impactful data gathered by this system, which Fio calls Fionet.

"When you link automated and streamlined data capture to clinical diagnostic devices you get a Niagara of data," Dr. Greenberg told WIRED Health attendees. “This remarkable data... is here because it automatically flows from regular health workers, doing their routine job.”

Fio delivers these information services via a subscription business model, based on what mobile network operators and software-as-a-service providers have successfully deployed in nearly every economy worldwide.