Microsoft and GE recently announced partnership in their “Caradigm” venture, scheduled to launch in 2012. From the press release: “Caradigm will be aimed at driving a paradigm shift in the delivery of care by enabling health systems and professionals to use real-time, systemwide intelligence to improve healthcare quality and the patient experience. Upon formation, the new company will develop and market an open, interoperable technology platform and collaborative clinical applications focused on enabling better population health management to improve outcomes and the economics of health and wellness.”

It appears that the Caradigm venture will be aimed at providing a platform for consolidating and streamlining electronic medical records, and enabling easy and efficient (yet secure) access to the data to enable “better population health management”. Managing an entire population’s health is the key thing to note here. It implies that health care providers are beginning to recognize the value in population-wide medical data to analyze the health of the entire system (population), not just individuals. This focus on the system as opposed to just the individual is going to change medicine drastically in the future.