科技公司和医疗保健 头文字云

作者:未知 来源:经济学人 2013-05-09

    Technology firms and health care

    Heads in the cloud

    Digitising America's health records could be a huge business. Will it?

    About time we caught up with the digital age, eh, nurse?

    ALTHOUGH most rich countries, and some leapfrogging poor ones like India,

    are adopting electronic medical records, doctors' surgeries in America still mostly do things the old-fashioned way.

    Determined to change this, the Obama administration has passed laws that will flood the health-care industry with $28 billion in subsidies over the next few years to persuade doctors and hospitals to go digital.

    Aneesh Chopra, the White House's chief technology officer, says the promise of this money is already boosting investment.
    白宫的首席技术长官Aneesh Chopra宣称政府对这笔资金的允若已经推动了投资,

    The big tech firms have convinced themselves that the health industry will be the next to embrace cloud computing.

    In principle, it makes sense to put health records into the cloud;

    the factories for mass-producing digital services that are the IT industry's next big thing should be ideal places to store, maintain and process patient and clinical data.

    Doctors' surgeries, hospitals and patients would all be able to retrieve and manipulate the data remotely, over the internet.

    Bridget van Kralingen, a senior executive at IBM, sees health care providing maybe one-tenth of the $7 billion in revenues her firm sees from cloud computing by 2015.
    IBM的高级执行官Bridget van Kralingen预见到,截至2015年,她的公司将从云计算中获得70亿美元的利润,其中的十分之一有可能来自医疗保健服务。

    But some scepticism is in order.

    A scheme to computerise the medical records of every patient in England has turned into a spectacularly expensive fiasco.

    Gartner, a technology consultancy, observes in a recent report that tech firms are rushing to rebrand their products with the latest cloud buzzword, whether they actually are cloud offerings or not.

    The danger is that America's health services have foisted upon them whatever the industry has to sell, rather than what is needed.

    Another reason not to get too excited is the reflexive conservatism and technophobia of medical folk.

    Jonathan Bush, the boss of athenahealth, which uses the cloud to digitise health firms' administrative systems, calls the medical industry anti-innovation.
    老板Jonathan Bush称医疗行业是反创新,他的公司利用云技术将保健公司的行政管理系统数码化。

    He reckons the average American doctors' surgery still handles 1,000 faxes a day.

    Keeping patient records secure and private is another big concern.

    But PWC, a consultancy, says some firms are finding solutions to this,

    developing secure cloud-computing systems that can be tailored to different countries' laws on the privacy of health data.

    The best reason to set aside such doubts and hope that cloud computing will take off in health care comes from the bottom up.

    Richard Escue of RehabCare, a chain of rehabilitation centres, was sceptical at first,
    一家连锁康复中心RehabCare集团的Richard Escue起初也对此质疑,

    but found that the unstoppable popularity of iPhones and other smart mobile devices among staff,

    and their demands to be able to send and receive health data on them,

    forced his IT team to embrace a cloud-connected set of mobile devices.

    Stephen Herrod of VMware, a big cloud-computing firm, says the surging popularity of smartphones, tablets and other hand-held gadgets plus the government push for digitisation add up to an unstoppable force that will help firms like his overcome all the obstacles.
    大型云计算公司威睿的Stephen Herrod说,智能手机、平板电脑和其他掌上配件的流行浪潮,再加上政府对数字化的推进,这些合起来,会形成不可挡的助力,帮助像他这样的公司克服一切困难。

    If so, the slow, inefficient health-care industry will enjoy faster transmission and smarter analysis of data, and better diagnoses. Doctors, nurses and, above all, patients, will benefit.