Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Scoop: Carbon Health in talks to license EHR tech

Illustration of a cursor hovering over a health plus icon, about to click "Open" from a drop down menu.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Primary care clinic network operator Carbon Health is in talks with multiple players to license its electronic health record technology, CSO Myoung Cha said during an Axios Pro event on Thursday.

Why it matters: Tech giants and startups have been striving to shake up the electronic health record (EHR) landscape for decades.

Details: Licensing Carbon's home-grown EHR, which has been a centerpiece of its in-person and virtual care offering since its founding in 2015, could be a lucrative source of income for the company.

  • "We’re in the middle of multiple conversations to license our software to other practices around the country," Cha said Thursday. "It's a new vector for us, because we haven't served as an EHR vendor in the space."
  • "That's something to watch for from Carbon in the next next year or so," he added.

Be smart: Founded in 2015, Carbon is often compared to One Medical (Nasdaq: ONEM), but Carbon accepts a wider range of insurance and does not require a subscription.

Flashback: In a 2021 blog post about why and how he started Carbon, CEO Eren Bali wrote that he knew the effort would involve having "to fix EHRs, the software at the heart of health care delivery."

  • While crafting plans to open Carbon's first clinic, Bali recalled thinking, "I needed a way to onboard with a health care provider ... choose a primary care provider ... book an appointment ... [and] answer all the questions that every doctor asks."
  • Those thoughts led to Carbon's EHR, which facilities all of the above and most recently was integrated with its newly-released diabetes management program.

State of play: Epic is the dominant EHR vendor in the U.S., with nearly half the population's medical records in some kind of Epic system, per Johns Hopkins.

Context: Cha said Thursday that Carbon's biggest rival today is the traditional health care system, where the challenge is "convincing folks in traditional care to try something different."

  • "It's a race to win patients’ hearts and minds," he added.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show that One Medical does accept some insurance policies.

Go deeper