Recent healthcare IT trends

A couple of interesting IT healthcare trends identified in this week’s Economist:

  • The burgeoning welfare state in Asia will
    • ‘…use technology to avoid the inefficiencies that hobble the rich world’s public sector. From making electronic health records ubiquitous to organising transfer payments through mobile phones, Asian countries can create new and efficient delivery systems with modern technology.’
  • In the US,
    • ‘…new “accountable care organisations” (ACOs) authorised by Mr Obama’s health law. ACOs are groups of hospitals and doctors that are held responsible for a distinct set of Medicare patients. If an ACO meets goals for the quality of its care and pushes costs below a set level, it may receive a bonus. Two other factors may make the new reforms succeed where others failed. First, the old systems had few incentives to offer patients good care. Second, they tried to co-ordinate services but had meagre tools to do so. This has changed, thanks not just to electronic health records but to software that analyses patients’ data and finds areas where care could be improved.  (My emphasis)