Apple and Google will bring to market products that will help tackle one of the biggest problems vex
Silicon Valley to launch Electronic Health Records?
Although health IT experts are excited about the possible offerings that these tech giants could deliver, they also say they don’t expect any of them to launch their own EHR products.
Kate McCarthy, a senior analyst at Forrester Research and author of its 2017 report about tech companies in healthcare, says the medical community has invested too much money in existing systems to rip them up and replace them simply because a new entry hits the market—even if that new product is better.
So she and others say they expect that up-and-coming technologies will layer onto or coexist with the EHRs and other IT systems that are already entrenched in hospitals and physician practices. McCarthy cites IBM’s Watson, which uses AI to assist physicians with analyzing medical scans and other data for diagnosis and research findings, as one example of such a product.
McCarthy says such products help physicians to be more efficient by eliminating the multitude of clicks and data-entry requirements in their current EHRs.
She also expects big tech companies entering the healthcare market to offer better population health management solutions, thereby helping physicians produce better outcomes for patients struggling with chronic conditions—a significant prospect as more and more insurers move to reimbursing physicians based on results rather than services.
Amazon to enter Healthcare via Supply Chain services?
Farzad Mostashari, MD, former National Coordinator for Health IT at the Department of Health and Human Services, predicts that Amazon will enter healthcare by offering supply chain services.
Mostashari, co-founder and CEO of Bethesda, Maryland-based Aledade Inc., a nationwide network of accountable care organizations, predicts that Amazon will lean on its usability and scale to compete in that area with potentially better pricing, customer service and usability for customers of all sizes.
And he predicts that Apple and Google will bring to market products that will help tackle one of the biggest problems vexing healthcare today: the lack of data portability.
Mostashari says he envisions a future technology where the patient would store and control his or her own medical records with additional applications enabling the patient to access and share what’s needed when it’s needed with physicians and other providers.
“That would be my dream of how the internet giants could enter healthcare,” he says, noting that Apple and Google already have applications that work similarly in other industries, such as travel and banking. A case in point is Apple Wallet, which allows users to store and manage credit cards, store loyalty cards, tickets to shows and other events, boarding passes and coupon codes.