This Week In Healthcare Information Technology: Oct. 18 - 24
Our roundup of InformationWeek's healthcare IT coverage includes federal CTO Aneesh Chopra on cost savings, GE's handheld ultrasound device, government prep work for stimulus funding, and a look at healthcare IT job opportunities.
Our roundup of this week's healthcare IT coverage in InformationWeek includes federal CTO Aneesh Chopra on cost savings and efficiencies, Intel CEO Paul Otellini on the chip giant's partnership with GE, the introduction by GE itself of its tricorder-like handheld ultrasound device, government work on a key definition required for stimulus funds to be doled out, and a look at healthcare IT employment opportunities.
Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra On Investments
The federal government can use IT to help lower the cost and improve the quality of healthcare in the United States, federal CTO Aneesh Chopra said Wednesday. Efficiencies and cost savings will come from investments made in health IT product innovation, funding of data infrastructure used to measure treatment effectiveness, and the use of technology to help address low-hanging fruit such as inefficient billing processes, he said.
Chopra, speaking on stage at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco with O'Reilly Media CEO Tim O'Reilly, said that one of the biggest problems with healthcare in the United States is that there's little true sense of effectiveness of treatment. This year's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- the economic stimulus package -- includes $1.1 billion to help the federal government invest in comparative effectiveness research, with a chunk of that money going to build the necessary data infrastructure.
"If you look at the retail sector, we have almost perfect market intelligence about point-of-sale transactions across Wal-Mart, so they have sophisticated algorithms to say exactly what they should be doing to optimize sales based on customer behavior," he said. By comparison, "only 3% of the nation's cancer patients are enrolled in a clinical trial that allows them to actually have that clinical trial be mined by researchers."
Also at the Web 2.0 Summit, Intel CEO Paul Otellini took the stage for an interview with Summit program chair and Federated Media founder John Battelle. During the discussion, Otellini expressed confidence in the market for healthcare IT, noting that Intel has partnered with GE to focus on home healthcare. "Let's keep people [in need of medical treatment] at home longer," he said, noting that home care represents the lowest cost to society. "We're developing a family of devices to allow that," he said, citing video conferencing and intelligent medication systems as examples.
Healthcare, he added, needs to shift from a centralized model to a distributed one.