Another potential way to lower healthcare costs is to make it easier for doctors and insurance carriers to access a patient’s medical records.
Microsoft is among the technology companies working to make this happen. They have developed Helath Vault, an electronic medical records system.
“This is about bringing health into the Internet age and getting data liquidity to happen,” said Peter Neupert, the corporate vice president who runs Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group.
Although Microsoft is the one of the first out of the gate with this technology, there’s no guarantee it will be successful. There also are rival systems such as Dossia in the works.
“They (Microsoft) have to convince not the consumer, but the employer or the health insurance company that this is the right vehicle for this health care information," said Eric Brown of Forrester Research.