Bill Gates on health care

I enjoyed reading Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates’s op-ed piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, Health Care Needs an Internet Revolution. In comparison with his fellow Win-Tel chairman, Gates is more level headed and exhibits a greater understanding of health care.

Gates reminds us of the high cost and low quality of health care. His proposed solution is to focus on better assembly and use of the data that are available now, and for enhancing the role of individual patients in this process:

By giving us comprehensive access to our personal medical information, digital technology can make us all agents for change, of pushing for the one thing that we all really care about: a medical system that focuses on our lifelong health and prioritizes prevention as much as it does treatment. Putting people at the center of health care means we will have the information we need to make intelligent choices that will allow us to lead healthy lives…

Toward the end of the piece, Gates take an indirect swipe at Google while laying down Microsoft’s chosen strategy:

No one company can –or should—hope to provide the single solution that makes all of this possible. That’s why Microsoft is working with a wide range of software and hardware companies, as well as with physicians, hospitals, government organizations, patient advocacy groups and consumers to ensure that, together, we can address critical issues like privacy, security and integration with existing applications.

It will be quite a while before Microsoft’s new foray into health care pays off. But this is a company to watch for the long-term. I have the feeling that Microsoft’s maturity and resources will be powerful competitive advantages not only against Google but against upstarts like Revolution Health as well.

October 5, 2007

6 thoughts on “Bill Gates on health care”

  1. Hi Dave,
    As a practicing physician, I’m really excited about this application and have signed up for a personal account. My plan is to start enrolling my patients with the hope of consolidating their medical data.

    I found however that the application did not have a place for me to enter my past medical history, medication lists etc. I think, for this application to work for my patients, this feature needs to be in place. Perhaps this feature already exists. If this is the case, it needs to be more obvious to the user. I know this is in beta, so I’m willing to wait.

  2. I like the portibility of this system. I currently take the medical history from my portal with my carrier and put it on an encrypted thumb drive. I also gave permission for my wife and docs to access the online health history. The MS system is nothing new, but the portibility is key to successful implementation.

  3. Based on the Gates Foundations track record in their so called wonderful works in Africa,which has resulted in a virtual collapse of the overall Health Care systems in every Country they seek to profiteer from.
    If Bill & Melinda Gates support it then run for the Bush, just like the children of Africa that have suffered at the hands of the Gates evil eugenic minions.

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