New standards for medical info access proposed

09.05.18

In August, several U.S. technology giants, including Amazon, Google-parent Alphabet and Microsoft, announced a new proposal to establish common standards for exchanging health information electronically among doctors, especially those working in different hospitals, reports CNBC.

“We are jointly committed to removing barriers for the adoption of technologies for healthcare interoperability, particularly those that are enabled through the cloud and AI. We share the common quest to unlock the potential in healthcare data, to deliver better outcomes at lower costs,” the joint statement read.

The U.S. government and the private sector have tried to fix this problem for decades, spending billions in the process. Unfortunately, the bulk of that funding was spent on moving doctor's offices from paper-based systems to electronic ones, and not on data sharing.

There are strong economic incentives to keep things the same. The creators of market-leading medical records software, like Epic and Cerner, have no reason to open the door to deeper-pocketed tech giants.

For providers, keeping information trapped within a hospital or health system makes it harder for unsatisfied patients to shop around and potentially leave. But in healthcare, unlike in most other sectors, that kills vulnerable patients.

Ultimately, health insiders say, the August announcement is a recognition that that something needs to change. (Source: CNBC


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