Two items of interest today; both good news for stimulating the transformation of healthcare into the digital age and giving consumers more control over their health information. The first announcement comes from Google and a pilot they will run with the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Up to 10,000 patients who use a portal provided by the clinic’s EMR vendor will participate in a trial program. The goal is to help them store and share their health information with other community healthcare providers. Why do I even mention something the competition is doing? Because it’s all good in moving us closer to a more consumer-centric health system.
Transforming healthcare is an incredibly complex challenge – one which no single organization can solve alone. Last October, Microsoft launched the beta version of HealthVault; an Internet-based service that helps people find, securely store, and share health information with whomever they want. We are working with more than 100 innovative organizations – from leading medical providers, health management device manufacturers, and national health agencies to help merge healthcare into the kind of experience, resources, and on-line tools consumers have come to expect from other industries in the Internet age. The fact that Google, Revolution Health, and other companies are similarly focused is good for consumers and for the kinds of information, products, and services that will become available over the next few years.
The second item of interest today is Microsoft’s commitment to openness and interoperability. This morning, Microsoft executives (from left Brad Smith, Steve Ballmer and Ray Ozzie) announced important changes to the company’s technology and business practices that will further enhance the interoperability of our products and expand the technical information we share with developers, partners, customers, and competitors. A top priority for Microsoft is to help developers and solution providers everywhere by being inclusive of industry standards. This too is great news for the healthcare industry where interoperability between different applications, systems, and solutions is crucial to providing clinicians with a complete view of their patients’ health data. Such interoperability is also critical in helping us (as well as Google, Revolution Health, and others) build solutions that will give consumers more control and better access to their personal health information.
Learn more about all of this at HIMSS 08. I hope to see you there!
Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft Corporation