As part of Government Technology Research Alliance’s new HealthTech initiative, I have spent the past several months conducting research with Health IT leaders from health care organizations, governments and technology providers in order to better understand the needs of this new and growing community of IT practitioners.
While still in its infancy (and some claiming it has not even been born yet!), the application of information technology to the field of human care provides one of the most exciting, practical and literally life-changing examples of how IT can have a profound impact on an industry.
I believe that this provides a real opportunity for the IT community to show just how powerful IT can be and ultimately help change perceptions which can lead to increased resources and support for IT across both government and industry.
How can Health IT have such a broad impact?
Because it deals with one of the most sensitive topics known to man… Life. Imagine if IT, not a bunch of politicians or companies, turned out to be the hero that turned healthcare around and created a system of better, cheaper and faster healthcare for all.
Here’s why I think IT truly can have this transformational power for healthcare.
At the highest level, one of the biggest problems with healthcare is wasteful spending. When speaking to healthcare providers it is painfully clear that a lot of waste and inefficiencies are a result of a lack of communication between a patient’s various doctors as well as an almost nonexistent infrastructure for sharing knowledge.
To medical practitioners solving these problems would be the equivalent of finding the Holy Grail. As an IT person I am scratching my head saying “Wait, you really don’t do that yet?”
What’s really exciting here is not in the complexity of the problem but in the relatively simple solutions needed to drive profound change.
Given the level of sophistication that exists in how other industries have implemented IT and our improved collective understanding of how to harness the power of technology, the IT community has a real opportunity to come together and help successfully implement a global Health IT strategy that will not only transform healthcare but will redefine the value of IT in any workplace.
Parham Eftekhari is co-founder and director of research of Government Technology Research Alliance, a 510c(3) non-profit organization comprised of public and private sector leaders dedicated to the development and success of the government IT community. Among its recent reports is The Status of Federal IT Reform.