Can Intel Save Health Care?

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on February 20, 2007

The medical industry doesn’t get much credit for being uber-efficient—and with good reason, as most hospitals and clinics have been slow to adopt readily-available technology for basic care.

Change could finally be coming, thanks to efforts from tech companies and businesses struggling to get soaring health care costs under control. The newest tool aimed at promoting change came Feb. 20 when Intel and tablet pc maker Motion Computing unveiled a stylish 3-pound device that will help nurses log patients’ vital signs and remotely call up medical records and doctors’ orders.

Based on a prototype Intel showed a few months back, the $2,200 Motion C5 device comes with a wealth of wireless goodies, including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for beaming info back and forth from a central repository. There’s also a bar code scanner that can help prevent patient misidentification by reading simple RFID tags attached to the wrist.

While relatively expensive, with health care costs expecting to rise to 25% of U.S. GDP in the next couple of decades, such devices like these represent good baby steps in the effort to streamline patient care. Let’s hope there’s plenty more to come from other partners in the Continua health care alliance working on such goals.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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