George Scriban, Microsoft HealthVault Global Stratgeist, addresses this question as panelist at Healthcare Town Hall.
Q: George, is this a situation where industry standards will resolve issues, or is it more of a winner-take-all situation with HealthVault as Windows of the future for healthcare?
George Scriban: Well, it’s an interesting question. Obviously, I don’t think this is a winner-take-all situation simply because the business here isn’t so much trapping data. The business, particularly for a platform like HealthVault, is actually liberating it. Right?
What we want is data liquidity. We want data to be able to move back and forth from providers. And so anything that makes the transport of information, healthcare information, from one entity to another and gives us that data liquidity is good for the consumer, good for the patient, good for HealthVault, good for providers. That being said, there is a role that the platform like HealthVault plays in actually fostering interoperability. We don’t expect, from our vantage point, having been in the information management business across a number of industries, we don’t expect from our vantage point to see healthcare reach a situation where everybody agrees exactly on how they’re going to talk health to one another. That’s not going to happen. Unlike a lot of other industries, healthcare has actually had vocabularies for dealing with condition management and disease state for hundreds of years. So this is a situation where it’s not exactly new, talking about health and moving information back and forth; it’s just that the technology is changing underneath it, and we’re finding that there’s a little bit of a mismatch between what one provider and another provider are actually saying. And this is why something like HealthVault actually smooths the path a little because these are just bits. If we do have a better and clearer understanding of what the underlying information is, then we can use something like HealthVault as a transformation engine to move things from one system to the next, one provider to the next.