Unfortunately, the serious illness of a family member has caused me to recently spend a lot of time navigating the Chicago-area health care system.
While the medical and nursing care has been top-notch, I couldn’t help noticing the technology inefficiency, especially when it came to medical and pharmaceutical data.
Amazingly, even in the same hospital, departments did not share data.
My relative, for example, was given a list of medications when released from the hospital. The next week, when he started attending day rehab in the same building, one of the first things they asked him to bring was his list of medications!
Why couldn’t they access the information online, or get a copy from his file upstairs?
Every doctor and department that saw my relative would, at the first meeting, ask for his complete health history. He was conveying the same information over and over again.
From my experience working and consulting with corporations in other industries, it’s clear to me that health care (one of the largest sectors of the economy, and the fastest-growing) is well behind the curve when it comes to IT and data management.
Fortunately, I did some research and found that this issue has generated a lot of opportunity here in the Chicago area — where we are a hot-bed of health-tech innovation. For example, Chicago is home to an incubator called MATTER, which specializes as a hub dedicated to nurturing healthcare-related startups.