Intel Prescribes Health IT

At its developer conference, Intel showcases technology it is working on to improve health care.

SAN FRANCISCO—Intel Corp. became the latest giant IT company to step boldly into health care. At the Tuesday afternoon keynote here, gloomy music played as huge screens flashed dire predictions about the aging population and rising health care costs.

Then Louis Burns, general manager of Intels digital health group, strode onto the stage with a well-rehearsed routine showcasing the companys entry to the health industry space, and saying major news would follow in the spring.

Burns said Intel had been contemplating the health space for two years and had spent the past nine months "listening" to what clinicians, patients and researchers needed.

Among other things, Intel heard calls for Bluetooth-enabled stethoscopes, sensory networks allowing Alzheimers patients to live longer, and a WiMix system that could allow hospitals and laboratories to share information in a 50-kilometer radius.

Burns told stories to inspire the developers in the audience of the benefits of electronic prescription ordering, describing how his daughter had narrowly missed receiving an overdose of a sedative when an overworked resident wrote a prescription that was off by a factor of 10. "Some would argue there are fewer checks in place giving medication than buying books on Amazon," he said.

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