Tuesday, December 02, 2008

4 forces of information technology that will revolutionize healthcare – including one that can benefit our client, ReachMD

The health-care industry is about to undergo a global revolution driven by a force it can no longer resist: information technology.

While hospitals and other care providers have long been quick to adopt breakthrough technology in medical devices, procedures and treatments, far less attention has focused on innovations in networking and communications.

But that’s about to change.

Dr. Amar Gupta, professor of management and technology at the University of Arizona, identified these four major ways in which IT will revolutionize health care:

1. more offshore services,
2. integration of health-information systems,
3. drug-safety monitoring on a global scale, and
4. more high-quality information to doctors and patients.

Watch a video at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122426733527345133.html?mod=article-outset-box#articleTabs_video%26articleTabs%3Dvideo

The latest medical knowledge will appear on Web sites edited by eminent specialists in those fields, Dr. Gupta says.

Doctors and scientists from around the world will contribute material, and automated search tools will capture updates from, say, a trusted clinical study. The reliance on IT and editorial workers in less-expensive countries, meanwhile, will help make such endeavors more economically viable.

Such sites are likely to take shape as hybrids of information sources and tools, drawing from online textbooks, medical journals, wiki-style editing and automatic updates from various trusted data sources. While the sites will have human editors, developers are working on tools to help comb through the large number of newly published and potentially relevant articles that need to be considered each week. The goal will be not just to increase the amount of medical information at people's fingertips, but also to make it specific, up-to-date, reliable and easier to find.

Multi-platform CME and information providers, like our client ReachMD (http://www.reachmd.com), are already on the leading edge of these trends.

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