Forty years after founding Epic, billionaire CEO Judy R. Faulkner shared a rare look inside the clinical database and healthcare software company. What started in the basement of an apartment building with $70,000 in startup money today is a $2.9 billion (sales) private company that employs 10,000. Considering the future of electronic health data, she predicts a Cambridge Analytica-esque challenge: the risk that family members’ data will be compromised by a members’ data authorization.
Entering the sphere of electronic record-keeping marked one of Faulkner’s most innovative moves in her long career, next to writing Epic’s original database software. A computer scientist trained at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she recounted a story of a child’s death in an emergency room, attributable to the absence of prior medical records. At the time Faulkner wondered when data would be standardized. When she was cautioned not to hold her breath, she decided, “We’re going to do it anyway.”