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Technology and Health Care

Techstination feature for Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Technology and health care. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Patients tagged with radio frequency identification or RFID chips…that are linked to handheld computers carried by medical staffers. Those are among the changes on the way at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. It has entered into a 400 million dollar technology partnership with IBM, where Vice President John Lutz tells us…

"It'll be a connection of the patients and of the devices and medical equipment and the various samples and tests and so forth. If you think about it, all of these can be interconnected if we get the right work done on standards. So that within one institution or across the industry, people are talking about the same thing in the same language. Open standards are key here. This isn't something that any one device maker or technology firm can dictate or any one hospital can dictate. We need industry cooperation, and open standards are a big part of that."

Part of the contract, is to create what's called an Intelligent Hospital Project…

"Like a lot of institutions in health care and a lot of institutions in other industries, they've gradually grown up a very rich set of technology infrastructure, but it hasn't been terribly connected as the different departments or processes have put in their own systems, they've got lots of islands of automation."

IBM aims to change that…and in the process, make health care a much bigger business opportunity. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.