In re: Is medicine finally advancing?

Obviously in so many ways our health care has advanced, probably faster then ever over recent years.  Yet in so many ways our health care has not, specifically all the paperwork and administrative back ends that support the massive health systems we rely on.  In fact estimates of medical expenses can put the admin costs of medical care at about 1/3 of the cost, when you factor in all the claims work and back and forth between doctors and insurance and the sending of countless forms and test results between primary care and specialists.

“Health Vault will store all its customers’ health data, ranging from test results to doctors’ reports to daily measurements of weight or blood pressure, online. Individuals then have access to those records any time, anywhere, via the internet—a great boon for those who travel a lot. Medical offices and hospitals who sign up for the service could easily send test results in digital form to the vault, and patients could authorise them in turn to have access to various, carefully circumscribed bits of their personal data. ” ‘Vault is open’ – The Economist

It may be starting to change as Microsoft has recently announced a plan to put peoples health records in secure online storage meaning that when one travels or visits another doctor instantly they could pull up their records.  It stuns me that this is still something that doesn’t exist but it makes me excited to think of the prospects of creating a better and more efficient system.  Of course critics may say that this has problems, and sure there are hurdles of security and privacy as always, but technology will hopefully help minimize the paperwork in the future, processing of claims and speed up the delivery of results.  See an article ‘The vault is open’ at the Economist.com

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