PRESS RELEASE-Next Wave Health Forms Next Wave Connect to Provide Smart Social Networking Communities to Healthcare Industry

Next Wave Connect goes live today with a deeply committed community of 27 healthcare industry enterprises, comprising over 400 hospitals operating in more than 30 states.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—Oct. 8, 2013—Next Wave Health (, an investment advisory firm and innovator in healthcare information technology, today announced its most recent venture, the formation of Next Wave Connect, Inc., provider of the first smart social networking application designed specifically to help the healthcare industry solve common problems and develop best practices. The cloud-based software, Next Wave Connect (CONNECT), enables healthcare professionals and peers, of all types, to collaborate within social networking communities, giving them a forum for solving the industry’s most challenging problems. Next Wave Connect became available today at the CHIME13 Fall CIO Forum, although 27 industry-leading organizations have already become founding members.


“Industry response has been overwhelmingly positive,” stated Ivo Nelson, founder of Next Wave Health. “Next Wave Connect has a stellar team of leaders in place, which accounts for much of the confidence we’re seeing this early in the game.” Drex DeFord, CEO of Next Wave Connect, is a 25-year veteran in healthcare IT and acts as an advisor to Next Wave Health. In addition, Mike Davis has joined as executive vice president of research and analytics, bringing over 35 years of healthcare strategy and expertise to Next Wave Connect, including leadership roles at HIMSS Analytics and Gartner, Inc.


The 27 founding member organizations that have already enrolled with Next Wave Health include Cedars–Sinai Medical Center, Rush University Medical Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital and Sharp HealthCare, among others. They represent every model of healthcare: integrated delivery networks including small group practices, accountable care organizations, academic medical centers, children’s hospitals, research institutes, and community hospitals.


Darren Dworkin, CIO at Cedars-Sinai, said, “We’ve looked at many enterprise software tools on the market today, but couldn’t find one that would flex to our healthcare needs until we saw Next Wave Connect. It’s the first enterprise social networking application we’ve seen that helps us collaborate within Cedars-Sinai, and allows us to do so with our peers across the industry. We’re all trying to solve the exact same problems at the exact same time—it makes sense for us to work together. Until now, we haven’t had the right social tools.” CONNECT helps organizations address issues such as meaningful use, ICD10, privacy and security, new reimbursement models, and many other challenges.


CONNECT is a service-oriented product that actively provides the expertise of community managers and advisors to assist members in creating professional communities and facilitating their collaboration. The managers help set up groups that connect members with common interests and issues. They also introduce groups to advisory council experts (ACEs), industry veterans with deep expertise in healthcare industry subjects. ACEs answer questions, assist members in making connections, and ultimately create and publish resolutions. ACEs that CONNECT members have access to include: well-known CIO and Healthcare IT blogger Ed Marx; Rick Skinner, CIO at University of Virginia Health System; Marc Probst, CIO of Intermountain Healthcare, Jeffrey Ferranti, M.D., chief information officer and vice president for Medical Informatics at Duke Medicine, to name a few.


“Today’s healthcare problems are complicated, and solving them requires a collective effort from a multitude of specialties,” said DeFord. “CONNECT facilitates this collaboration, allowing healthcare providers, payers and vendors to work together in a unique online community, crowd-sourcing solutions that result in smarter, safer, and more efficient healthcare.”


CONNECT also allows members to designate their communities as “open”, allowing anyone to participate, or “closed”. Closed communities require participants to be pre-approved, and limit conversations to a private circle of collaborators.


Next Wave Connect is built on the SSM 2.0 technology platform and will launch new features regularly. As a cloud-based application, upgrades will be available to members immediately, without requiring healthcare IT departments to track or implement changes.


About Next Wave Health

Next Wave Health provides start-up healthcare technology companies with initial funding and growth capital, experienced industry advisors, and operational services that support business development and growth. Next Wave Health currently serves as a strategic advisor or investor for several healthcare technology companies, including Encore Health Resources, Smart Social Media, Health Care DataWorks, MedSynergies, HealthPost, and SCI Solutions. For more information, visit


About Next Wave Connect

Next Wave Connect is a wholly-owned social networking application company of Next Wave Health, based in Houston, Texas. Next Wave Connect (CONNECT) is the first healthcare industry-specific, smart social networking application, connecting healthcare professionals and peers—of all types, from across healthcare organizations—giving them a place to collaboratively solve the industry’s most challenging problems. For more information, visit

Contact Next Wave Health

Next Wave Health
63B Sunset Lake Road Huntsville, TX 77340
+1 866 712 3532 |

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