By Darlene Darcy Washington Business Journal
The nation's health care system is far behind in technology. Area tech firms hope a flood of federal funding will help speed their solutions to the market. Private industry trailing the government in innovation may seem surprising. But in the use of technology to deliver and manage health care more effectively, the government is taking the lead - at least for now.
Health-related agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and components of the Denese Department have been plugged into electronic medical records and medical information exchanges for years.
But many private hospital groups and small physicians’ offices have not adopted big-ticket tech systems and software because of various hang-ups, including the cost of technology.
President Barack Obama’s technology agenda, not to mention his massive stimulus package, include plans and billions of dollars for a nationwide electronic health information system to house and exchange patient records, insurance information and other medical data...
(The article goes on to articulate details of the $19 billion directed towards health care reform in the economic stimulus plan and highlights six local companies involved in the effort to fix a costly and inefficient health care system, including Ozmosis.)
SYMPTOM: Good information can be hard to find.
TREATMENT: Ozmosis, Inc. provides a social networking website that doctors can use for collaboration, continuing education and sharing "best practices."
Formed by Joel Selzer and Jason Bhan, Ozmosis continues to grow by invitation only so doctor's identities can be verified and the site remains a trusted environment for trading information. The service is free to member physicians, universities and hospitals.
Prince William Hospital in Manassas is using Ozmosis within its electronic health information system. Although not a traditional ad-supported site, Ozmosis will get revenue from pages sponsored by medical device and drug companies. Physicians can opt into those pages for new product information.
PROGNOSIS: Ozmosis hopes to "benefit from the tremendous momentum low-cost, social media solutions are gaining throughout the health care industry, "Selzer said. "With 84 percent of physicians now searching online for health care product information, the pressure to shift physician marketing and product education online has never been greater."
Selzer warns that "just giving economic incentives to doctors to buy [electronic medical record systems] and hospitals to deploy them doesn't mean they're going to use them effectively." That requires education - a role Ozmosis can fill, he said.
You can read the full article and see insights from five other local firms at the Washington Business Journal.