Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cloud Computing and Healthcare

BusinessWeek has an article about Cloud Computing in the June 15th edition. It calls it Cloud Computing 2.0 and there's a little column in there titled, "A Sharper Eye on Patient Care." It describes how OptumHealth (a UnitedHealth Group Company) is using eSync to gather medical information and alert clinicians and patients if a problem is detected. These types of automated reminders are not difficult to generate as long as you have the right algorithms that are driven by evidence-based practice guidelines. According to this article, 20 million patients will be served by eSync medical technology.

In my former life, I worked for a company that has now been acquired by OptumHealth. There, we employed automated messages that were tailored for individuals who have various types of health conditions. As the world of electronic health record (EHR) soars over the next few years, we will see more employ decision support, automated messages, and more data integration. At the end, will we see improvements in public health? I'm hopeful that we will. Companies (and the government) are counting in reduced healthcare costs.

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