Before Disrupting Healthcare

What Innovators Need to Know

A book on everything important for launching or investing in a health information startup. Accessible, insightful, and hype-free, it’s a must-read for those innovating in the health space.

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What's Inside

Read Table of Contents

1. Preface

Explains the book’s goal and some acronyms you may encounter in it.

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4. HIEs

Understand Health Information Exchange as a product and market.

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2. Landscape

Describes the status quo in EHR, PHR, HIE, MU, ACO & Digital Health.

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5. Emerging Tech

What new trends will reshape healthcare tomorrow, and how.

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3. EHRs

Insights on Electronic Health Record  components and vendors.

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6. Entrepreneurship

Tips and caveats about running a startup in this space, and winning.

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Pallav Sharda

Pallav Sharda

Pallav left his Anesthesiology residency in 2001 to pursue Medical Informatics at Columbia University, NY. The first 12 years of his work experience centered on Electronic Health Records (at GE Healthcare), Population Health Analytics (at Kaiser Permanente), Health Information Exchanges (at UnitedHealth Group) and Health Tech Interoperability (at Omnicell, Inc.). He primarily held positions in engineering management, product management, R&D and business development organizations. During that time he also served as a part-time faculty instructor for the graduate Medical Informatics Program at Northwestern University.

Pallav founded and ran several health tech startups from 2014-2018. He currently works at Google Cloud leading the Healthcare go-to-market strategy.

Pallav received his MBA from Northwestern University (IL), Masters in Medical Informatics from Columbia University (NY), and a Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) from Delhi University (India).

This is the best book to read to understand the health care IT landscape. It gives a historical perspective of evolution of different health IT systems and the different high level areas of IT systems that support the healthcare system in USA. Must read for an engineer, product manager or designer working or interested in working in healthcare. I am not sure if people who have been working in healthcare also have a good understanding of the entire landscape.
Chakri Uddaraju

Engineering Manager, Facebook

The single best source for current and future opportunities in healthcare delivery.  Dr. Sharda has an uncanny ability to both summarize and dissect a very complicated byzantine ecosystem that is ripe for true innovation using technology.  If you want to be a part of the solution, I strongly encourage you to read this book.
Adam Schlifke, MD, MBA

Anesthesiologist, Kaiser Permanente Medical Group

I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone joining the healthcare corporate world, whether in a provider (hospitals), payer (insurance companies) or vendor capacity. Whether it is your first job out of college, you transitioned from another industry, or moved within related industries such as Pharma or biotech, understanding the landscape is critical to your professional success.

It can be read in one sitting, but it would be a bit like drinking from a fire hose, especially for the uninitiated. Do not be deterred, and keep this book in your library. It works great as a lasting reference tool, and I found myself looking up terms on a frequent basis.

Onne Ganel

VP, Omnicell Inc.

A useful book that provides a nice tour through the acronym jungle of Healthcare IT. Entrepreneurs will save a ton of time by having this ‘map’ in hand.
Nigam Shah, PhD

Faculty, Stanford Biomedical Informatics

Basically $1 behind-woodshed talk about healthcare system – how does it work, what do terms mean. Best value in healthcare- a new handbook – think of it as pocket guide to the system!
David Shaywitz, MD, PhD

Chief Medical Officer, DNANexus

This book is for anyone who is just about to enter the world of healthcare innovation and those who are floundering so that they can understand why it seems hard to move forward.
Grace Soyao

CEO, Self Care Catalysts, Inc.

This is a great introduction to the Healthcare IT ecosystem from an expert who’s lived through the industry’s biggest growth era. The entrepreneurship section is essential reading for anyone trying to enter this extremely competitive market.
Michael Cantor, MD, MA

Senior Director, Pfizer

Before Disrupting Healthcare is must-read material for anyone new to the healthcare technology space. Using plain English and plenty of examples, Pallav breaks down segment after segment clearly and completely, creating a blueprint for entrepreneurs to navigate industry, policy, funding, mentorship, and more. This should be required reading for anyone seeking funding and starting a company.
Naveen Rao


Dr. Pallav “HITman” Sharda offers a straight-shooting and refreshingly blunt primer on Health Information Technology, its domains, what ails it, and what the path forward is.

However, do not assume that this is a book for just the novice – even healthcare’s battle-scarred veterans will be amazed by the insights. With Ambrose Bierce-like irony combined with analogies that hit home (e.g. ICD10 use is akin to asking the neighborhood grocery store to deal with SKUs at the Walmart scale), Dr. Sharda has delivered an un-putdownable read for HIT enthusiasts!

Siv Raman, MD, MS

VP, Anthem

The book was chosen to be California Tech Council’s selection as “Book of the Month” for February 2017. Pallav went on Inside the Founder’s Studio podcast to talk about the book, as well as entrepreneurship in healthcare in a wide-ranging discussion. That episode is available in CTC’s Podcast Archive.
California Tech Council