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2004 marked the beginning of new technologies and companies that changed the consumer experience as we know it. Companies today must meet the growing needs of consumers, while safely securing personal data. Let’s take a look back at some of the companies that were founded in 2004 and see how their technology has impacted consumerism and security in healthcare.


When Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in his college dorm room, little did he know he was starting a company that would change the way people communicate. With 2.38 billion monthly active users, Facebook has grown to be the largest social platforms today. Of course, with social platforms come the risk of inadvertent information exposure. For example, those question-based authentication answers that you set up for your financial accounts are often directly or inadvertently shown on Facebook. Your high school mascot becomes pretty easy to guess if you list your high school on your Facebook page. The same applies to the throwback picture you just posted of your childhood dog.  

Lesson Healthcare Can Learn: Healthcare is an especially attractive target for criminal cyberattacks because of the valuable information healthcare organizations store. By developing a security program at your organization, you’ll be able to constantly monitor your network and ensure patient information is secure. Be sure to conduct regular risk assessments and train your staff to be aware of security threats and the evolving landscape.


When Gmail debuted in 2004, the interface differed from other webmail services because it focused on search and the “conversation view,” the now-seemingly obvious grouping of emails together by conversation, rather than time of receipt. Users liked this featured and Gmail became increasingly popular. As it continued to grow, Gmail added additional features like chat, calendar and direct access to Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Drive. When Google released the Google Chrome web browser in 2008, it became even easier for Gmail users to access their email. Consumers have a consistent experience with Gmail no matter what type of device they are using and have access to other Google programs from within their email account. This gives users the ability to manage all their Google accounts from one place.

Lesson Healthcare Can Learn: Consumers don’t want to have to manage multiple logins when completing a task, especially when it comes to paying healthcare bills. Offer an online payment experience that makes it easy for consumers to pay their healthcare bills, but also manage preferences like paperless billing and automatic payments, view payment history and save payment information in a digital wallet.


WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) is a network security technology commonly used on Wi-Fi wireless networks. WPA2 certification became available in 2004 and mandatory in 2006. Any device manufactured after 2006 with a “Wi-Fi” logo must support WPA2 encryption. When WPA2 is enabled with its strongest encryption option, anyone else within range of the network might be able to see the traffic but it will be protected with strong encryption. In addition to its encryption standards, WPA2 helps wireless users in other ways, such as enabling them to disconnect from a wireless network and reconnect without having to go through a number of authentication processes. This Wi-Fi technology has stood the test of time and continues to deliver protected Wi-Fi access to users everywhere.

Lesson Healthcare Can Learn: Despite having a reliable service, it is important to constantly monitor your network use. You must stay on top of the latest security requirements including updates to Wi-Fi and PCI Compliance.  


Two former PayPal employees, Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons, raised $1 million in funding for a glorified “email circle” that allowed friends to directly swap business reviews. This was the start of Yelp. By 2010, Yelp had $30 million in revenue, and the website had published about 4.5 million crowd-sourced reviews. Today, Yelp has approximately 184 million reviews on their site ranging from restaurants, shopping, travel and other services. Reviews have changed the way businesses operate, as the consumer voice can no longer be ignored. Consumers are much more likely to write about a bad experience they have than they are to write about a good one. This experience is the same across all industries, including healthcare.

Lesson Healthcare Can Learn: To ensure your patients have a positive end-to-end experience, engage with your patients digitally at every interaction point. This will enable a seamless and convenient payment experience and make it easier for you to communicate with them about their eligibility information, collect copays and balances faster and drive eStatements and automatic payment adoption.


Remember the days when ordering takeout seemed like the easiest way to get food? Grubhub blew that notion out of the water. Grubhub gives customers access to thousands of local restaurants, real-time order tracking and they deliver right to your door. Grubhub is contributing to the definition of the on-demand economy. When it comes to making a payment, Grubhub presents an Amazon-like payment experience by only having a customer enter his or her credit card information one time. Customers have come to expect this kind of experience as they do not want to re-enter their credit card information every time they pay online. All of their payment information is saved in a secure digital wallet and in a matter of minutes they can reorder their favorite items or purchase something new. Plus, in 2016 Grubhub introduced Apple Pay and Google Pay as payment options for their service.

Lesson Healthcare Can Learn: The ability to save payment information in a digital wallet to pay for healthcare bills is a must-have. However, directly storing credit card numbers can result in significantly expanded PCI DSS burdens, such as regularly cycling the encryption keys used to encrypt credit card numbers. Healthcare organizations can leverage tokenization as a safer and easier alternative.


InstaMed was founded in 2004 by Bill Marvin, CEO, and Chris Seib, Co-founder and CTO. Since 2004, InstaMed has been built on one platform that connects consumers, providers and payers for every healthcare payment transaction. InstaMed’s patented, private cloud-based technology securely transforms healthcare payments by driving electronic transactions, moving money and healthcare data seamlessly and improving consumer satisfaction. Security has always been a core pillar of the foundation of InstaMed. That is why we can confidently say we are healthcare’s most trusted payments network.

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