Tech Titans Transforming Telehealth, Telemedicine
The race to streamline online access to medical records turned into a stampede this week as leading high-tech vendors trumpeted new initiatives at the "Health Information and Management Systems Society" (HIMSS) trade show in Atlanta. Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), Dell, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) IBM and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) are attended the conference to tout new and pending deals designed to help consumers, doctors and hospitals move to more easily accessible, but also secure, medical histories and information online. IBM (NYSE: IBM) debuted a new service called Initiate Exchange, while also announcing that it's completed its acquisition of Initiate Systems. Leveraging a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, Initiate Exchange is designed to help physicians issue orders, access test results and share registration information right from their electronic medical records (EMR) or practice management system. IBM said the SaaS approach makes it easier to add physicians to the system rather than requiring hospitals to develop new computing infrastructure or adding to their existing systems. "This SaaS model from Initiate allows us to support our mission of improving the health of our communities by being able to quickly connect our physician community while giving us the flexibility to expand the scope at our own pace," Jeff Allport, vice president for IT Solutions Delivery at St. Joseph Health System, said in a statement.