IBM, Google Team Up On Health Records - InformationWeek

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IBM, Google Team Up On Health Records

The tech giants have partnered to create a service that lets users stream medical data to online services.

IBM and Google, in partnership with Continua Health Alliance, have collaborated on a system designed to allow patients to stream data from medical devices directly to Google Health or to other online personal health record services.

IBM said the system will help to ensure that patient's health records are up to date at all times.

"By harnessing the rapidly growing use of remote patient monitoring across every part of the health care services industry, our new IBM solution greatly increases the real-time value of [personal health records] for consumers everywhere," said Dan Pelino, general manager for IBM's Healthcare & Life Sciences unit, in a statement Wednesday.

Google Health, launched last year, allows users to store, manage, and share their health records in a secure, online environment. Continua helps define guidelines and standards for e-health records.

IBM envisions multiple uses for the service, which is based partly on open source software. For instance, a busy professional could use the technology to keep tabs on the health of an aging parent who lives alone. The system could also allow physicians to remotely monitor, in almost real-time, the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients.

"With close to a quarter of the world's population overweight, more than 600 million people with some form of chronic disease, and millions more reaching retirement age, the time for greater personal health management is now," said Continua Health Alliance president Dave Whitlinger, in a statement.

E-health technologies are expected to receive a boost under the Obama administration. The president wants all Americans' health care records and related information digitized within five years. The hope is that such an effort will lower costs and create efficiencies by eliminating paperwork, facilitating on-demand patient information for the full spectrum of providers, and making fraud easier to spot.

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