News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

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News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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Forbes Ranks Epic’s Judith Faulkner the Richest Woman in Healthcare in Its 2021 List of 100 Richest Self-Made Women in US

Within the in vitro diagnostics and clinical laboratory space, Bio-Rad’s Alice Schwartz and 23andMe’s Anne Wojcicki also were recognized by Forbes

At $6.5 billion net worth, Forbes, in its 2021 list of the 100 richest self-made women in the US, ranked Judith Faulkner, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Epic Systems Corp., in second place overall. But in the industry of healthcare, she tops the list by far. The next nearest healthcare-related “richest woman” is Alice Schwartz, co-founder of Bio-Rad Laboratories, at $2.9 billion.

Faulkner was surpassed on Forbes’ list only by roofing material magnate Diane Hendricks, co-founder of ABC Supply Co., whose net worth of $11 billion puts her squarely in the top spot.

Richest Self-Made Women in Healthcare

Becker’s Hospital Review highlighted the seven richest “self-made” women who ran healthcare-related companies. They include:

Also listed by Forbes was Anne Wojcicki, CEO and founder of 23andMe, a personal genomics and biotechnology company. Wojcicki’s net worth of $1.1 billion puts her in the 25th position, according to Forbes.

In “Genetic Test Company 23andMe Completes Merger with Richard Branson’s VG Acquisition Corp., Stock Now Trades on NASDAQ,” Dark Daily noted that since the Sunnyvale, Calif. direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing company will now be filing quarterly earnings reports, pathologists and clinical laboratory managers will have the opportunity to learn more about how 23andMe serves the consumer market for genetic types and how it is generating revenue from its huge database containing the genetic sequences from millions of people.

Judith Faulkner and Alice Schwartz

Judith Faulkner (left), founder and CEO of Epic Systems Corp., and Alice Schwartz (right), co-founder of Bio-Rad Laboratories, ranked 2nd and 10th respectively in Forbes’ list of the top 100 richest self-made women. In healthcare, Faulkner ranks 1st and Schwartz 2nd. Clinical laboratory personnel will likely be familiar with Epic Beaker, which, according to Healthcare IT Leaders, “is Epic’s laboratory information system (LIS) for hospitals, clinics, patient service centers, and reference labs. The software supports common workflows for clinical pathology (CP) labs as well as anatomic pathology (AP) labs.”  (Photo copyrights: HIT Consultant/Science History Institute.)

How did Faulkner Make Epic So Epic?

It all started in 1979 when Faulkner and a colleague invested $70,000 to launch Human Services Computing, which became Epic, noted Forbes in “The Billionaire Who Controls Your Medical Records.”

“I always liked making things out of clay. And the computer was clay of the mind. Instead of physical, it was mental,” Faulkner, who is 77, told Forbes.

Company milestones noted by Forbes include:

  • Inking a deal in 2004 with Kaiser Permanente for a three-year, $400-million project.
  • Moving in 2005 to a corporate campus in southern Wisconsin—an “adult Disney World” with the largest underground auditoriums and more “fantastical” buildings.
  • More recently, AdventHealth of Altamonte Springs, Fla., contracted with Epic for a $650 million remote build and installation.

“Epic’s system has tentacles that go out through amazing networks. You can actually help a person get the care they need wherever they need to get it,” AdventHealth’s CEO Terry Shaw told Forbes.

In about two years, Epic plans to launch an artificial intelligence (AI) Electronic Health Record (EHR) documentation tool aimed at transcribing clinician and patient conversations in real-time, EHR Intelligence reported.

However, Epic may face competition from IT startups in areas including ancillary services, where clinical laboratories, for example, are seeking genomic data storage and introducing new genetic tests, according to Becker’s Hospital Review in its report on analysis by CB Insights, titled, “Unbundling Epic: How The Electronic Health Record Market Is Being Disrupted.”

“I think that what will happen is that a few of them will do very well. And the majority of them won’t. “It’s not us as much as the health systems who have to respond to the patient saying, ‘Send my data here,’ or ‘Send my data there,’” Faulkner told Forbes.

Bio-Rad’s Alice Schwartz an IVD ‘Pioneer’

As Faulkner rose to prominence in healthcare IT, Alice Schwartz of Bio-Rad Laboratories found massive success in the in vitro diagnostics industry.

She and her late husband, David, started Bio-Rad with $720 in 1952 in Berkeley, Calif. They were intent on offering life science products and services aimed at identifying, separating, purifying, and analyzing chemical and biological materials, notes the company’s website.

“They were at the right place and at the right time as they became pioneers in the industry,” International Business Times (IBT) stated.

Bio-Rad Laboratories (NYSE:BIO and BIOb) of Hercules, Calif., offers life science research and clinical diagnostic products. The company’s second quarter (Q2) 2021 net sales were $715.9 million, an increase of about 33% compared to $536.9 million in Q2 2020, according to a news release. Its Clinical Diagnostics segment Q2 sales were $380 million, an increase of 34% compared to 2020.

Norman Schwartz, the founders’ son, is Bio-Rad’s Chairman of the Board,

President, and CEO. However, at age 94, Alice Schwartz, the oldest person on Forbes’ richest self-made women list, “has no sign of stopping soon,” IBT reported.

Lists are fun. Medical laboratory and diagnostics professionals may admire such foresight and perseverance. Judith Faulkner and Alice Schwartz are extraordinary examples of innovative thinkers in healthcare. There are others­—many in clinical laboratories and pathology groups.

Donna Marie Pocius

Related Information

Forbes’ Ranking of the Country’s Most Successful Women Entrepreneurs and Executives 2021

Healthcare’s Richest Self-Made Women, Per Forbes

Epic Systems Founder-CEO Judy Faulkner Wields Great Power and Responsibility in Healthcare IT

Unbundling Epic: How the Electronic Health Record Market is Being Disrupted

The Billionaire Who Controls Your Medical Records

Epic in Process of Developing AI EHR Documentation Assistant

Epic’s Revenue Hit $3.3B in 2020; 10 ways the EHR Giant’s Dominance is Opening Doors for Competition

Bio-Rad Reports Second Quarter 2021 Financial Results

Alice Schwartz Net Worth: Oldest, Richest Woman in U.S. is Worth $2.2B

Genetic Test Company 23andMe Completes Merger with Richard Branson’s VG Acquisition Corp; Stock Now Trades on NASDAQ

GE Healthcare Pays $587 Million to Purchase Clarient, the Specialty Pathology and Cancer Testing Firm

GE’s Acquisition Considered A Sign Of More Deals To Come In The Clinical Laboratory Industry

Here’s more confirmation that anatomic pathology continues to be a big target on the radar screen of big healthcare corporations and Wall Street investors. Today, GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), disclosed it will pay $587 million to acquire Clarient, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLRT), the medical testing laboratory.

For pathologists and clinical laboratory managers, this is further confirmation that GE—one of the world’s major players in molecular imagin and radiology—intends to combine molecular diagnostic technologies used in anatomic pathology with its molecular imaging technologies used in radiology. In the press release about the acquisition, GE wrote that the addition of Clairent would help it create “new integrated tools for the diagnosis and characterization of cancer.”


Thermo Fisher Offers $6 Billion to Acquire Millipore

Both companies are important suppliers to clinical laboratories and research labs

In recent days, news surfaced that Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO) was offering $6 billion to acquire Millipore Corporation (NYSE:MIL). Neither company has confirmed the offer, but yesterday Millipore issued a statement that its Directors were “evaluating strategic options.”

Should Thermo Fisher acquire Millipore, or should Millipore find another buyer, it will mean the same thing: more consolidation among vendors who are major suppliers for clinical pathology laboratories. This would continue a global consolidation trend among clinical laboratory suppliers and in vitro diagnostics (IVD) manufacturers that reaches back more than a decade and a half.


Pathologists Soon to say Sayonara to Glass Slides!

Digital Pathology Imaging: Coming Soon to a Pathology Group near You!

Will pathologists soon say “sayonara” to glass slides? Plenty of smart money already bets the answer to that question is “yes”! Every pathologist in the United States and abroad should be watching developments in whole slide imaging and digital pathology systems. That’s because digital pathology imaging is a trend with momentum-and it also has the potential to be disruptive, although probably not in the short term.

One powerful sign that digital imaging in pathology is ready to go mainstream is the take-up of digital imaging solutions and digital pathology systems by leading pathology laboratories in the United States and developed countries across the globe. These are academic and tertiary center pathology labs, along with major private pathology companies. As the pathology profession’s first-movers and early adopters, it is these laboratories which set the pace for the entire profession. Their acceptance and growing use of digital imaging and digital pathology systems can be taken as evidence that the current generation of imaging and informatics technologies perform adequately.

However, there is another powerful force propelling digital imaging forward in anatomic pathology. It is the emergence of molecular assays which incorporate digital images and use either computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) or pattern recognition software to help the pathologist make a precise diagnosis. By design, these molecular tests require the pathologist to work from a digital image of the specimen. At The Dark Report‘s  second annual Molecular Summit on the Integration of In Vivo and In Vitro Diagnostics, conducted last February in Philadelphia, examples of these types of emerging assays were abundant. (more…)

General Electric and Abbott Laboratories Cancel Their $8.13 Billion Deal

After the markets closed yesterday, General Electric (NYSE: GE) and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) released announcements that the two companies had terminated the pending sale of Abbott’s two diagnostic business units to General Electric.

Abbott’s press release made the announcement in two sentences: “Abbott and GE have mutually agreed to terminate their contract for the sale of Abbott’s core laboratory and point-of-care diagnostics businesses to GE. The two companies were unable to agree on final terms and conditions of the proposed sale.”

GE’s press release said just a bit more: “General Electric announced today that GE and Abbott have agreed to mutually terminate their agreement relating to GE’s acquisition of Abbott’s primary in vitro and point-of-care diagnostics businesses. GE and Abbott worked diligently to complete the transaction but were unable to reach agreement on final terms and conditions. As a result, they agreed it was in the best interests of both companies to mutually terminate their agreement and discussions.”

The break-up of this deal is a significant development. For General Electric, it was a major healthcare acquisition. GE was ready to purchase Abbott’s primary in vitro diagnostics (IVD) business unit, along with a point-of-care testing business. Together, these Abbott businesses were estimated to generate about $2.5 billion in revenue last year. In fact, the price to be paid for of the Abbott diagnostics purchase was only slightly less than what GE paid for Amersham PLC in 2001, which was more than $9 billion.

There will be plenty of questions about why this deal fell apart. Was this a result of a changed financial picture at General Electric? Was something uncovered during due diligence that affected the acquisition as originally priced and structured – and the two parties could not negotiate a revised set of mutually-agreeable terms? Did either buyer or seller smell out a better deal, giving them motivation to see this acquisition agreement come apart?

Last year, Siemens (NYSE: SI) made similar investments to stake out a major position in the IVD marketplace. GE’s decision to abandon its acquisition of Abbott’s IVD businesses will probably not be the end of GE’s interest in in vitro diagnostics. It is probable that, in the coming months or years, GE will find another attractive IVD company to acquire.

Related Articles:

GE Announces Termination of Contract with Abbott

Abbott Announces Termination of Contract with GE

GE, Abbott end $8 bln deal for diagnostics business

GE, Abbott nix proposed $8B deal
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