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October - 2009 - issue > Entrepreneur 101

Health Internet: An Emerging Area of Opportunity

Gunjan Sinha
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Gunjan Sinha
In the last few months there has been a roaring debate here in the United States on how to revamp the arcane and inefficient healthcare system. Numerous government agencies and businesses have begun to think about how the future of the health architecture should evolve. This focus on ‘health Internet’, which ultimately will connect up all kinds of data sources and applications from healthcare providers, hospitals, caregivers, insurance agencies, and patients will enable an efficient platform for a digital healthcare infrastructure. This newly commissioned focus by the Obama administration bodes well for entrepreneurs worldwide as a whole new class of technologies and companies would be required to help develop a global healthcare Internet. The year 1993 (invention of the browser) marked the rise of the Internet, 2001 (post September 11) led to a global focus on digital security and compliance, 2005 (global warming risks and escalating oil and commodity prices) led to the focus on clean-green and alternative energy.

This year, 2009, marks the beginning of a new era in healthcare. Moving forward, with a top-down commitment and focus coming from the governments around the world, healthcare reform is all set to begin, with particular opportunities for innovation through IT. Let me share my thoughts on how I see the evolution of the health Internet of the future.

Challenge #1: Developing the Electronic Health Record

The first and foremost challenge is to develop a way to ‘securely’ make the electronic patient record and information available in the cloud. How do you ensure that diverse records of each patient make their way to an electronic vault, where various health applications and service providers with the right authentication can access this vital data? There are lots of technology challenges behind this seemingly straightforward undertaking. Lots of patient data are sitting in ‘paper’ files in hospitals and clinics. In many cases, there is no standard interface defined where various entities can make their data available in a standard format. Such health standards have to be developed globally to enable data providers store the data in the secure cloud.

Challenge #2: Creating and Enforcing Compliance Policies

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Reader's comments(1)
1:health internet is next big business opportunity in the global market . from the above article i understand that Mentaining the track record of the patient status and his disease suffering in a an electronic form so that he can get advice from global doctors and the availability of the related medicines. and other thing relating to health care.
Posted by: murthy manyam - 24th Oct 2009
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