I have been emphasizing how, in order to truly control health costs, it will be imperative to figure out how to get people to live healthy lifestyles in order to avoid disease and, in so doing, obviate the need for expensive interventionary care.
In my reading about future trends in medicine, it’s become apparent that there is a second imperative: collecting and cataloging genomic, physiological, health and lifestyle data and accomplishing the implementation of electronic medical records. Microsoft recently enabled their Health Vault system to be utilized on mobile devices. They have also released a software development kit that should encourage application developers to create easy and useful ways to record, catalog and anyalyze personal health data. That should go a long way in bringing electronic medical records into the mainstream. Of course, security issues remain one of the biggest stumbling blocks toward widespread adoption of EMR’s. If we can solve that problem, we’ll be able to utilize information technology to analyze an entire population’s health data, which will in turn foster huge advances in medical diagnostics, disease prevention and personalized medical care.