Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam, in an address to the World Health Care Congress on Tuesday (April 17), detailed the challenges facing the U.S. health care delivery system and highlighted Verizon's efforts to help transform it through the use of information technology. McAdam pointed out that for true change to occur, both health care providers and consumers must be on board.
As part of Verizon's commitment to the health care marketplace, McAdam announced that the company will form a strategic relationship with NantWorks LLC, a California-based technology and health care company. This initiative follows Verizon's recent combining of its wired and wireless services and IT and network assets to form an integrated health IT organization.
The companies will leverage NantWorks' unique set of health care technologies and Verizon's platform-based health IT portfolio of mobility, cloud and IT offerings to accelerate significant change through highly scalable, connected health IT solutions.
"Today's health care market operates in silos without the ability to share patient and clinical data at even the most basic levels," said McAdam. "Verizon is focused on enabling the transformation of the health care industry through the strategic use of technology that will ultimately lead to significant improvements in the U.S. health care system."
Verizon and NantWorks' first initiative will be to create an integrated information infrastructure, the Cancer Knowledge Action Network, to improve the treatment of cancer. The network will give physicians, for the first time, immediate access to the most up-to-date best-practice information about effective protocols for the treatment of specific cancer conditions.
"The future of medicine is digital and mobile," said Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, founder and CEO of NantWorks. "NantWorks and Verizon share a common vision for the transformation of the health care industry through 'big data.' As one of our first targets, we will explore ways to translate the massive amounts of data available on cancer treatment. Our goal is turn this data into actionable information at the point of care, enabling better care through mobile devices in hospitals, clinics and homes."
According to industry experts, demand for connected health technologies is expected to grow rapidly as the industry seeks to better manage costs and improve patient care by facilitating real-time care coordination, increasing patient engagement and enabling information portability.
It is estimated that health care costs exceed $2.3 trillion and are growing annually at a compound rate of 7 percent. Of these costs, $1.1 trillion is spent managing chronic diseases such as diabetes, congestive heart failure and hypertension.
Gaining Momentum in the Health Care Space
Verizon Connected Healthcare Solutions, the company's $5 billion health IT practice, comprises hundreds of dedicated health IT experts and a research and development group, aimed at bringing new innovations to market.
To date, the company has issued tens of thousands of credentials to health care professionals to enable secure access and exchange sensitive patient information; developed a medical data exchange that facilitates the sharing of information regardless format; and delivered a cloud-based fraud detection solution that uses predictive modeling to help identify fraud in the payment system before a claim is paid, potentially saving businesses and government agencies billions of dollars. Most fraud prevention today consists of trying to recover money after the claim is paid.
In addition, Verizon previously announced strategic agreements with Duke University to leverage the inherent value of advanced communications technologies and with Health Evolution Partners to encourage innovation and adoption of connected health information technologies.
Verizon's strategy is to provide a secure, reliable cloud platform with built-in security and compliant features delivered through mobile devices powered by its high-performance 4G LTE and global IP networks. Each layer of the solution will be tailored to meet the needs of today's disparate ecosystem, including apps and services for independent living; remote care enablement; virtual care; clinician enablement; and payer and vendor enablement.
The company's portfolio will consist of multiple health offerings for chronic disease management; a Secure Messaging platform for the exchange and retrieval of protected health information; a proven Fraud Detection system based on predictive analytics; Universal Identity Services for secure credentials to access confidential health information records; and a secure cloud platform to easily manage health IT transactions.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with nearly 108 million total connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 194,000. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.