Congress Seeks Input on 21st Century Cure Technologies

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is seeking public comment on a white paper released June 17 regarding potential digital and personalized healthcare technologies intended to enable 21st Century cures.

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Comments (1)
Healthcare is often referred to as a local business. The majority of care delivered locally. This worked well, however, against the backdrop of information technology it has devastating consequences.

"Local" healthcare has evolved for generations with little to no incentive to share data or collaborate. As a result, there are thousands of disconnected islands across the country doing their best to provide care in their community.

As information technology evolved there was a cascading effect - the move to automate information focused on supporting the needs of the respective "island". Information system vendors eagerly supported the market by building custom solutions to support the infrastructure of the island without regard to the other islands across the country.

Now with the information age spanning more than three decades, healthcare still lags all other market sectors relative to adoption and integration of information technology. The healthcare challenge goes deeper than just technology. The more complex challenge is changing behaviors. The "this is my data" mentality is all too prevalent in healthcare. Across health sectors many entities literally compete on their data stores. As a result the advances possible through data analytics, data-based care and innovation care remain locked in data silos.

While the aim of this committee "to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery cycle to get promising new treatments and cures to patients more quickly" is laudable, until the market price for being a "health island" exceeds the cost of being connected existing competitive dynamics are likely to prevail.
Posted by Brian B | Wednesday, June 18 2014 at 5:34PM ET
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