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Some of the largest technology companies in the world vowed at a White House healthcare developers’ conference this week to eliminate barriers to interoperability between health systems.
While representatives from Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce offered no details of their commitment to remove interoperability obstacles, they all agreed that the time for ubiquitous sharing of electronic health data is overdue.
"We see this as a historic moment where we can intervene in just the right ways as healthcare shifts to the cloud and makes AI available," Microsoft Corporate Vice President Peter Lee said at a White House session led by Dean Garfield, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council.
"Patients should have access to their data and have the flexibility to use products and services across different systems to work seamlessly for their care,” said Mark Dudman, IBM's Head of Global Product and AI.
The White House session was held in conjunction with the Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which wants better tools for leveraging claims data to serve Medicare recipients. More than 700 developers have signed on to use the Blue Button sandbox created by CMS to facilitate apps development for healthcare data.
Garfield said the pledge by technology companies indicates their resolve to “eliminate the friction that exists in the healthcare systems today” through the deployment of “cloud computing and cloud architecture moving toward open standards through FHIR and the Argonaut project,” Healthcare IT News reported.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma opened the Blue Button conference on Monday by urging health insurance companies to make claims data more easily available by releasing it in an API (application programming interface) format. This will enable the development of apps that Medicare enrollees can use to share claims data.