Sunday, December 20, 2009

Next Multi-Billion Dollar Opportunity for IT!

Has anyone seen this opportunity?. It looks like Google and Microsoft have been preparing themselves for quite sometime.

Will talk about what they are doing in just a little while..

First, the news is that US Government is planning to spend multi-billion dollar in Healthcare IT. Most of the spending is going to be centered around Electronic Patient Health Records related Solutions. If this stimulus plan gets approved, it is going to openup Healthcare IT market like never before. It will bring tremendous opportunities for Electronic Health Record technology/product vendors, HealthCare IT solution providers / Hospital systems.

Check out this newsbriefing to know more about this plans in detail.

Now, what does this newsbit has to do with Google or Microsoft?

Google and Microsoft have been incubating similar HealthCare IT solutions for the last few years. Maybe on a low key - Google is providing 'Google Health' whereas Microsoft calls it as 'Microsoft Health Vault'.

Both the solutions let the patient key-in and manage their Electronic Health Records and online and selectively share that data with the partner ecosystem. The partner ecosystem would be Health Care providers, Pharmacists, Insurance companies, etc.

Now, with this kind of platforms and solutions in place, the patients can expect to experience the following set of services in near future:
- Health Predictions based on your current medical records
- Video Conferencing with Doctors with (Doctors having access to your medical history)
- Recommendations/Targeted advertisements/medicines that are highly personalized
- Upload infomation from their Healthcare devices directly to the platforms (e.g. glucose meters, bood pressure cuffs, etc. from various vendors)

Both Google and Microsoft are offering these services for Free to Patients. While both the solutions look identical, there are major differences. First, Only Microsoft provides support for uploading data directly from Medical devices. And it supports a variety of devices from various vendors when compared to Google. Second, Microsoft is investing significant amount of money in Health Care IT related solutions, while Google grows the platform organically.

There are competitors as well like Dossia, who provide similar EHR platforms to corporates. But, Google/Microsoft have the muscle power to outperform the competitors and has the ability to build a wider ecosystem around its platforms.

Both the platforms are not subject to HIPAA regulations yet. But, eventually they will need to comply with government regulations, if they want to address the privacy and security concerns of patients.

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