Market Opportunities in Healthcare IT

Today I wrote a guest post for Xconomy entitled Health Records are Going to the Cloud, Going Mobile, and the Feds Are Still Paying.

The post represents what I see as the primary trends in healthcare IT and correspondingly, where the majority of interesting innovations will come from. This is not to say there isnt going to be a lot of activity with ACOs, but there is likely going to be little in the way of innovation or real economic opportunity in areas such as this. I base that statement on one thing: history. ACOs are just the newest machination of organizations that have been tossed around for almost a decade. While there are differences from RHIOS etc, they are not enough to get me too excited. Mobile and cloud computing on the other hand, are wide open frontiers and innovation we have seen in the consumer sector for a decade is about to influence healthcare in meaningful ways.

Cisco is Central to the Cloud

This afternoon John Chambers @CiscoSystems unveiled their latest and greatest consumer directed strategy at CES in Las Vegas. The center of their program is an integrated system called “Videoscape.” I am writing about this announcement for the simple reason that I think Cisco is one of the most well-positioned companies as we enter the prime-time of “cloud computing.” Cisco gets it and their investments show it. Their products will be central to the technology economy for the foreseeable future.

Cloud Computing has taken over as the term du jour. Previously it was Web 2.0 and before that it was the “Internet” or “Networking.”  Once you escape the buzz talk, you realize the systems needed to run the new era of “cloud computing” are far more complex than the images of fluffy white clouds imply. Rather, the infrastructure that makes technology function consists of high capacity switches and routers connecting massive storage and computing hardware. It’s serious technology. The cute little “light weight” app you have on your Android takes advantage of this complexity behind the scenes directly or indirectly; and no one has a better handle on it than Cisco.

What Cisco effectively promoted today was their awareness and efforts towards the need for total integration of the network, the cloud and devices so that content and communications can happen anytime anywhere. This basic concept is obviously amazingly complex….but Videoscape, umi and other products from Cisco demonstrate they aren’t just talking a big game….they are delivering.

Finally, Chambers made clear that they are focused on reinventing the TV and making Video the new generation of communications. Certainly bigger streams (aka video) favor Cisco, but I suspect they are largely correct. While there are times when we don’t want or need video, when a simple text will suffice for example, the limitations on the video to date have likely held back its adoption as a mainstream communications medium. Cisco seems poised to finally change that.

Click HERE to see the Chambers presentation at CES.