Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Digital Medicine, Intel, and the Common Platform

In 1999, there was a research study called "The Future of Fun" that examined trends in digital entertainment across 100 homes in the United States and Europe. An unexpected surprise was found amongst the results. Users asked for ways to help manage the chronic health problems of elderly relations, especially those geographically separated by great distance. Eric Dishman, who spearheaded the study, shopped these results to Intel, efforts which eventually led to the genesis of the company's Digital Health Group. Now Dishman, a social scientist, is director of product research as a result.

The reason I am pointing all this out is simple. Intel is making a push to be the first on the ground offering integrated home health serves.

Via Rick Merritt at EETimes:

The Intel Health Guide is a PC customized to monitor vital signs and deliver health services to elderly patients managing chronic health conditions. Based on an Intel motherboard, the system is designed to be simple enough for technophobic users but robust enough to have received FDA Type 2 certification in August, a first for the company.

Intel provides the software to run both the new device and computers used by health care professionals to track and communicate with patients using it. The chip maker will even host those services and provide consulting to health care groups who want to set them up.

So here we have a fusion of two of my favorite topics: electronic medical records and care for chronic conditions. Attention to either of these subjects stands to reduce the overbearing cost of health care in this country; the combination of both could be a great boon.

With the Baby Boomers entering retirement at ever increasing rates, the market for this sort of device and interface will expand almost exponentially. In pure business terms, it is massive.

The move is an effort to define a common platform for the emerging field of remote health care expected to reach $5 billion in 2010 and explode to $34 billion by 2015, according to a recent report. It also marks a major expansion for Intel which has been studying the health care market for several years, but to date focused on defining systems and standards.

Looks like the game is changing. The Perfect Storm for health care reform spoken of by George C. Halvorson seems to be gaining strength!

SOURCE: "Intel rolls health care system and service- Chip maker hopes to set platform for personal care" 11/09/08
photo courtesy of k0a1a.et, used under its Creative Commons license

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