Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates last week unveiled an ambitious initiative to standardize the way healthcare software applications are created and to support the swap of data among previously incompatible information systems.
Gates explained the initiative to about 2,000 attendees of the Microsoft Healthcare Users Group conference in San Diego last week. The group was instrumental in adapting a broader Microsoft business-world initiative to healthcare, Gates said.
The new technical "blueprint" could link hospitals' aging but important software systems with the leading edge of innovation represented by Internet technology. That would enable healthcare organizations to get extra mileage out of their existing computer investments while shaking loose the data from those disparate information sources and making the data uniformly available.