InformationWeek, November 23, 2010

Information as a commodity. It used to be that information was power: The paper chart connected the patient to a specific hospital or doctor. Today, it's the ability to act on information — to screen, translate, and interpret it — that empowers clinicians. In a highly digitized world, we deal with images, structured data, and unstructured data, and the amount is overwhelming.

Healthcare will see real change when all this data converges. Context, in particular, will be important. The ability to compare me as a patient with people just like me across the nation requires that all valuable data must live outside of the system in which it was created, decoupled from the source and rich with context. The concept of context in medical data isn't new but to date has existed only within the silo of individual systems.

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