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Industry News Round-up: Healthcare Technology

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To keep you on top of the latest and greatest healthcare technology news, we’ve rounded-up a list of current topics.

Healthcare Research in the Cloud

Mark Samuels of ZDNet writes, “using the power of the cloud to improve organisational efficiencies is one thing, but the potential benefits that can come from adopting on-demand IT in medical research are truly life-changing, creating the potential for great advancements in patient care and long-term life prospects.”  He cites three examples; first Virginia Tech teams who had produced data tools to help fight cancer and other diseases have now produced software that reduces the cost of a human genome sequence from $1,000, today, to possibly pennies by 2020.  Ford has also teamed up with the healthcare technology community to help monitor health and wellness indicators such as blood pressure and activity levels, using cloud solutions to process the data.  And, finally the American Cancer Society used cloud solutions to improve operations and expects to save $1.5 million every year from these efforts.

Watson Health Cloud

Lance Ulanoff reports for Mashable about IBM Watson’s entrance into the healthcare technology world via Watson Health Cloud.  He reports, “The goal is a recalibration of healthcare costs through always-available access to information about personal health and how it compares to health details about millions of anonymized others.” You may have seen it in the news that IBM and Apple are also partnering up to be able to couple Apple’s personalized health tracking with other data sources that can all be processed via the Watson Cloud. Mr. Ulanoff reports the majority of the data collected will be anonymized to analyze trends but they do intend to also have personalized data available for use by doctors and hospitals to improve specific patient care. It is amazing to see how what once was a Jeopardy contestant has now turned into a powerful game-changing resource.

How Can Big Data Personalize Medicine?

Jacqueline Prause points to three ways big data can make medicine more personalized in a recent Forbes article.  First big data has allowed for breakthroughs in “population health” which breaks down risk factors based on lifestyle, economic or medical history for a defined and specific group of people, helping to define preventative treatments and practices.  Second, big data has made it possible to push for physician “point-of-care” systems that help modernize healthcare systems as well as make it easier for physicians to access data for better real-time decision making. Finally, big data is playing a huge role in precision medicine by providing a structure of data to analyze to create custom treatment options.