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Emerging Consensus to Create a 'Health Internet' With Broad Consumer Engagement
Date:10/8/2009

Harvard meeting explores how health information technology can be modeled on "iPhone-like" platform to spur innovation and reduce costs

BOSTON, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As government, industry and academic leaders work to transform the nation's health information system, there is increasing interest in the notion of a national health information network in which consumers can actively engage, and which can provide the foundation for an "iPhone-like" ecosystem of applications to compete on price and value. In such an ecosystem, purchasers of applications -- whether physicians and hospitals buying electronic health records, or patients and consumers buying technology to support wellness and disease management -- would be able to easily substitute any application for any other.

Assembled at a conference hosted by Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, more than 100 thought leaders, including representatives from the Executive Office of the President, the Department of Health and Human Services, Google, Microsoft, IBM, and a diverse array of companies, universities, and organizations, explored innovative ways to transform the national Health IT system.

Kenneth Mandl, a physician and researcher at Children's Hospital Boston and associate professor at Harvard Medical School, explains: "If health information technology evolves to provide platforms that permit physician practices, hospitals, or patients to pick and choose from a 'store' of applications that are entirely substitutable, a competitive environment will emerge that allows for better pricing, more customized applications and innovations that cannot be anticipated at the moment. Value should be high, and switching costs low."

Mitch Kapor, founder of the Lotus Corporation and now Senior Advisor on Health Information Technology at the Center for American Progress, opened the meeting suggesting that a new "Health Internet" co
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SOURCE Children's Hospital Boston
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