Representatives from Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Apple met in Washington, DC, recently to highlight their commitment to helping in the management of health data.
Reps meet for announcements
The big tech companies met some of the largest hospitals and health insurers in the US to announce their plans of launching better services to provide consumers easier access to their health data. The group will begin testing of a new project which will include a share of all data that gets billed to a patient’s insurance company, called claims. This will include all their procedures, doctor’s visits, and tests. The specifications of the project were developed by a health and tech company coalition called CARIN Alliance.
Data included within claims provides a general overview of a person’s health. It covers procedures comprehensively without adding extensive details about the records. This data is also more hospital-agnostic. Traditionally, deep data like results of a lab test remains with the hospital or clinic where the patient received care. However, claims data only includes the record of the specific tests, irrespective of the results, or the place where it was conducted.
The government has increasingly urged the claims information to be made available to all Medicare beneficiaries. However, even after government pressure, millions of Americans still don’t receive access to this data.
Big tech’s invasion in healthcare
Apple, Microsoft, and Google have already tried to get a closer look at their consumer’s health and help them access this information more easily. The response to these services has been lukewarm because accessing healthcare data is difficult. Apple has been the only tech giant with some significant success in this area. They have a service called Health that lets consumers access their clinical data at partner clinics and hospitals.
B.well’s Kristen Valdes said that the early applications of the service could help patients in tracking their bills and avoid frauds. It could also be helpful in choosing health plans. Ryan Howells from CARIN Alliance said,
“Once it goes live next year, consumers can make better enrollment plan decisions because they know how they’ve historically utilized health care services over the last few years. They will have their longitudinal across providers, rather than having to download their information provider by provider.”
He stated that this is the first time that the industry has decided the standards for sharing claims data with third-parties. This will allow users to see their data on any app of their choice.