Healthcare Standards

Tech Giants Amazon, IBM, Microsoft Initiated in Increasing Health Data Standards


World’s biggest tech giants such as Microsoft, Google, IBM, and Amazon pooled together for vowing to remove interoperability barriers in the healthcare system with an aim for the advancement of health data standards.

They have, in a conference, collectively pledged to support healthcare interoperability by progressing healthcare standards such as HL7 (Health Level Seven International), FHIR (fast healthcare Interoperability resources), and the Argonaut Project. Apart from advancing the healthcare standards, they also asserted for removing interoperability barriers.

The companies said, “We share the common quest to unlock the potential in healthcare data, to deliver better outcomes at lower costs. Together we believe that a robust industry dialogue about healthcare interoperability needs will advance this cause, and hence are pleased to issue this joint statement.”

A letter was issued by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) where the six tech companies have jointly articulated: “Healthcare data interoperability, to be successful, must account for the needs of all global stakeholders, empowering patients, healthcare providers, payers, app developers, device and pharmaceuticals manufacturers, employers, researchers, citizen scientists, and many others who will develop, test, refine, and scale the deployment of new tools and services.”

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Chief Executive Officer of ITI, Dean Garfield, explaining about the substantial joint step by the tech giants, stated: “Today’s announcement will be a catalyst to creating better health outcomes for patients at a lower cost. As transformative technologies like cloud computing and artificial intelligence continue to advance, it is important that we work towards creating partnerships that embrace open standards and interoperability.”

The announcement, basically, conveyed that the six establishments are very firm in considering standards-based interoperability as a significant factor which will bestow success on the healthcare industry.

This is not the first time where an interoperability pledge has been put forward, a few of the nation’s largest electronic health record vendors tried to come together for a similar pledge but it, unfortunately, led to a fierce battle amid agitated EHR users and vendors striving for market share. Since then, the emergence of artificial intelligence has augmented the adoption of standards through the healthcare industry.

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Expectantly, the support from these tech giants is likely to bring massive change in the healthcare industry and foster interoperability which will enable to help support a fluid, open, and standards-based health data exchange ecosystem.