Google and Microsoft sign up for military duty

Fact: A September 2008 article in the Michigan Business Review holds that “An estimated 70 million people do have access to basic personal health records through their health insurers, with millions more scheduled to receive the service this year, according to health care benefit company Aetna.”  But that doesn’t mean they’re using a PHR.  Aetna also did a study just last year (2007) with the Financial Planning Association, according to the same article and found that “64 percent of respondents said they didn’t know what a personal health record was and of those who did, only 11 percent said they were currently using one.”

Analysis: In the battle to expand access to and use of PHRs, there’s great news on the way for a significant portion of the country: our millions of men and women in the military.

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Healthcare: It’s the Data, Stupid

Fact: Today’s L.A. Times has a startling report: “A stunning number of people who work in healthcare settings lack paid sick time — as many as 75% of all home health aides, for example… Federal data indicate that as many as 29% of all workers in the ‘healthcare and social assistance’ job sector lack paid sick days. Healthcare employees who work while ill may end up hurting the people they are hired to help….”

Analysis: Mark Twain said the only two sure things in life were death and taxes.  So it’s no surprise that the two presidential campaigns are focusing on healthcare and the economy, since people are universally affected in personal ways.  Forget taxes for today, I’m interested in technology’s role in healthcare, which is growing, and there’s no more potentially game-changing facet of that than the role of data. 

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