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🔐 1 big thing: Imprivata unlocks provider access

Sarah Pringle
Mar 17, 2022
Photo illustration of Gus Malezis, CEO of Imprivata, and a digital fingerprint.

Photo illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios. Photo: courtesy of Imprivata

Imprivata CEO Gus Malezis tells Axios he believes his Thoma Bravo-backed company is building out an essential digital identity technology framework for health care.

Why it matters: Doctors and nurses need access to hundreds of applications to care for patients, but patient privacy laws and cybersecurity threats make that increasingly complex.

  • At ViVE Miami, Malezis said more organizations are starting to pay attention to this “massive issue” after they've gone through EHR implementation.
  • “Quite often EHR/EMR has multiple gates of login,” Malezis says. “It’s hundreds of times you have to log in within a shift.”

How it works: Imprivata’s tools allow health care workers — in patient rooms and at nursing stations — access to a constellation of applications using a single sign-on, either via a finger or badge tap.

  • That restores roughly 30 to 45 minutes of a daily shift back to every provider, Malezis says.
  • Users of course like this, and from an organizational standpoint, it helps reduce burnout while ideally increasing productivity.

Yes, and: The Lexington, Massachusetts-based company has been on investors' M&A watch lists for some time.

  • Two years ago, sellers, including Imprivata, postponed sale processes (many indefinitely) as investors and execs hashed out the severity of COVID-19 impacts on financial markets.
  • Malezis says the decision to step back let Imprivata develop its vision and focus on company operations, employees and customers.
  • Before pressing pause, Imprivata was anticipated to price at north of $2 billion based upon approximately $140 million of estimated 2020 EBITDA, Sarah wrote then.

Fast forward: Imprivata now generates $180 million of EBITDA on approximately $330 million of revenue, with the top line trending toward $400 million-plus its current fiscal year, the CEO says.

  • Its February agreement to buy SecureLink will bring the next phase of growth, or what Malezis likes to call "Imprivata 3.0."
  • SecureLink provides appropriate access for nonemployee, third-party vendors at hospitals that are accessing devices like an MRI machine.

Reality check: With more provider access, you’re also giving the bad actors more of a surface area to attack.

  • “As we elevate access we also have to think about how we strengthen cyber controls,” Malezis says, acknowledging that threats have escalated by at least 50% to 60% over the last 24 months.
  • Insurance providers have also become incredibly more demanding, he says, "because of the advent of heavy ransomware and the expense of recovering those systems and the expense of recovering [from] general hacks."

The bottom line: As Imprivata executes its vision of making provider access “efficient, simple and invisible,” it's likely reaching a scale that ought to draw attention from large buyout funds, strategics or secondary investors.

  • The CEO declined to say when Imprivata might return to the auction block but says the opportunity to consolidate the market's fragmented set of tools remains vast.
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