As hospitals obtain increasing amounts of information and "smart" clinical technology, the challenges of how they will inter-relate and communicate is coming to a head. Many refer to this as the challenge of "Convergence." In this context, hospitals are increasingly becoming the site for the conduct of clinical trials.
The February meeting of HealthTechNet featured three presentations on the general topic of clinical systems convergence. First, Jim Oakes presented a summary of a recent project he led to help a large hospital client rationalize investments in clinical and information technology. Then we heard a presentation from Sherry Marcus of Realinterface Expert Systems, Inc., a new company based in Annapolis that has built an information bridge between patients looking for clinical trials, hospitals and physicians helping them to do so, and clinical trials companies looking for enrollees. Finally, Todd Pechner from Hedgehog Strategic Consulting updated us on emerging issues relating to increased IT support of clinical trials, FDA validation requirements, and possible impact on the Healthcare IT sector.
We also heard updates and reports from the recent HIMSS conference, heard an update on the financial effects on the industry of the recent Deficit Reduction Act and the President's Budget, and discussed other health care technology issues of importance to the industry.