Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM pledge support for healthcare interoperability

Google has introduced a network attached storage service to its cloud storage portfolio (Image SpVVK / iStockPhoto)
Google is one of six tech companies pledging to knock down the barriers of intereoperability. (SpVVK/iStockPhoto)

Six of the world's largest technology giants have thrown their sizable weight behind advancing interoperability in healthcare. 

Microsoft, Amazon, Google, IBM, Oracle and Salesforce issued a joint statement on Monday vowing to remove the barriers to interoperability by promoting the "frictionless exchange of healthcare data" through open standards and active engagement with the healthcare industry. 

"We are jointly committed to removing barriers for the adoption of technologies for healthcare interoperability, particularly those that are enabled through the cloud and AI," the joint statement read (PDF). "We share the common quest to unlock the potential in healthcare data, to deliver better outcomes at lower costs."

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The companies made the announcement at the Blue Button Developers Conference hosted by the White House. 

"The opportunity to unleash greater innovation in healthcare is here and working together we can seize it," Dean Garfield, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) said in a statement

RELATED: Lack of interoperability a major barrier to value-based care transformation, hospital finance executives say

Although all six of the technology giants were already making inroads into healthcare, the statement was a clear show of support to promote interoperability specifically. 

In a blog post, Josh Mandel, the chief architect at Microsoft Healthcare who helped create Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, said Microsft plans to identify ways to support value-based care.

"Transforming healthcare means working together with organizations across the ecosystem," he wrote. "Today’s joint interoperability statement reflects the feedback from our healthcare customers and partners, and together we will lay a technical foundation to support value-based care."

“We are pleased to join others in the technology and healthcare ecosystem in this joint commitment to remove barriers and create solutions for the adoption of technologies for healthcare data interoperability," added Gregory J. Moore MD, Ph.D., vice president of healthcare at Google Cloud. "This will enable the delivery of high quality patient care, higher user satisfaction, and lower costs across the entire healthcare ecosystem.”

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