Last year was a banner stretch for venture capital infusions in the health IT realm. Promising news, indeed, and one of the more interesting aspects is that PHRs were the second largest VC category, trailing only the broader healthcare information management realm and actually leading the trendy mobile health and telehealth frays.
That, despite the demise of Google Health and some speculation about the future of Microsoft HealthVault, given the vendor’s joint venture with GE Healthcare. Are PHRs, perhaps, more alive than we thought?
Or at least more vital than Rick Perry, who just two days before the primary in the Tea Party stronghold of South Carolina, dropped out of the race under the guise of “a strategic retreat,” and then backed Newt Gingrich, who happens to have a history in the health IT realm. Healthcare IT News esteemed Editor Bernie Monegain looks at Newt and HIT: Then, today, and the time between.
Gingrich appears to be doing well in South Carolina, a state hostile to any sort of federal health reform, disgruntled by Mitt Romney, and vehemently opposed to establishing a health insurance exchange. Not Vermont, though. This week Governor Peter Shumlin proposed Act 48, legislation that would create a unique single-payer system. Vermont neighbor New York’s eHealth Collaborative, aka NYeC, built out its roster by adding HIE vendor Informatics Corporation of America to work on public-private multi-state EHR-to-HIE connectivity standards.
Continuing along the HIE front, Michelle McNickle delves into 5 tips for creating a sustainable HIE, beginning quite naturally with planning and education and including, of course, a hearty dose of patience. No easy task, that, and neither is using an EMR that might feed into that HIE, so McNickle weighs in with 5 ways to make your EMR more user-friendly.
Looking to also make health data more accessible and actionable, the OPM added Blue Button to federal health plans such that any not already using them must submit a plan by March 15, 2012. Also looking to engage patients in their own healthcare, ONC kicked off a contest wherein citizens video tape their New Year’s health-centric resolutions, upload those to YouTube or Vimeo, then cross fingers hoping to win $2,000.
Perhaps ONC ought to assume the VC role and offer $2,000 to anyone who achieves their resolution of smoking cessation, a healthier diet, managing a chronic condition, or losing weight – that would most certainly bring a return on taxpayer dollars that go toward healthcare costs over the long-term, no?