It’s ironic that while there have been so many advances in medicine—robotic-assisted surgery, the cloning of embryos, the mapping of genomes—our health delivery model has remained essentially the same. In no other industry do we basically “do it” the same way we “did it” years ago.
Unfortunately, the consequence of our inability to change is reflected in the high price we pay for healthcare. Today, Americans spend $7,290 per person a year on health — more than double what any other developed nation spends.
If we are to significantly impact healthcare outcomes and costs, we cannot continue to do it the same way we did it years ago. Healthcare IT must deliver the same real time, real life data upon which every other industry in America – from sports to transportation to mobile devices – runs.
At its core, healthcare is a data issue -- who has it, who has access to it, when do you utilize it and what can it tell you that you didn’t know 10 minutes ago. Vital to this is the movement of data across the continuum of care, from the physician’s office to the patient’s home and anywhere in-between.
To change the state of healthcare, we need a new framework that enables innovation, rewards experimentation, and ultimately drives value. We need a health delivery system that is designed around real-time health management and consumer engagement. This is what will allow us to realize the policy goals of providing increased access while maintaining fiscal responsibility and to deliver on the future – the promise of personalized medicine.
An authority on the intersection of technology, health and business, Peter Neupert is corporate vice president of the Microsoft Health Solutions Group, and previously served as president and board chairman for drugstore.com.