Almaden Institute - 2005 : Transforming Healthcare with Information

The Almaden Institute is held annually at the IBM Research - Almaden in San Jose, California. Each year, we invite eminent innovative thinkers from academia, government, industry and the media to address critical problems at the forefront of science and technology.

This year's institute focuses on the prospective role of information in transforming healthcare. Among the topics for consideration is the illiquidity of health information and its impact on innovation and transformation. The flow of health information is fragmented; several participants in our program will assert that the emergence of demand-centered consumer behaviors requires a liquidity of health information that can be obtained only through organized market structures.

We will explore the challenges associated with developing a national health information infrastructure, including: Is developing such an infrastructure an attainable strategic objective? How will we pay for such infrastructure given the current dynamics of health economics? Can such an infrastructure generate transformative effects? How might understanding healthcare dynamics in the context of an adaptive ecosystem inform strategic choices? How can we leverage investment by private enterprise to create a national infrastructure?

A key topic at the Almaden Institute will be the concept of Health Record Banks (HRBs) as a means of providing consumers the ability to consolidate and control access to their entire medical history. We will examine the role of private enterprise in establishing HRBs as well as the economic implications.

The view of health information as an earning asset for consumers will also be explored. Issues associated with the values and value that inform individual decision making for health information liquidity will be considered in the context of assessing prospective beneficial effects in transforming health system dynamics.