August 7, 2019
Last year, executives from Microsoft, Amazon, Google, IBM, Oracle and Salesforce banded together to promote data sharing in healthcare. A year later, these tech companies aren’t showing any signs of slowing, according to reporting by James Thorne on GeekWire.
Last week, the tech giants renewed their commitment to healthcare data sharing standards with a new joint statement that highlighted the past year’s progress. They also put their weight behind a regulatory effort to update rules governing health data by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
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“As a technology community, we believe that a forward-thinking API strategy as outlined in the proposed rules will advance the ability for all organizations to build and deploy novel applications to the benefit of patients, care providers, and administrators alike,” the companies wrote in a shared pledge.
But, writes Thorne, the tech heavyweights aren’t just promoting data sharing standards — they’re helping to define them.
“My team is looking at gaps in the interoperability landscape and capabilities that organizations are still missing,” Josh Mandel, chief architect at Microsoft Healthcare, told GeekWire. Once identified, Mandel said the team can start to address those gaps through the development of new standards. As an example, they’re looking at ways to improve how streaming data is captured from medical devices.
In addition to the pledge, a coalition of big tech companies and healthcare industry names — including Apple, Humana and the State of Washington — announced that they would be testing new standards that give patients access to their claims data. The idea is to let people access their past health-care information on the app of their choice, which they can use to inform new providers or make decisions related to insurance coverage.