Electronic Health Records: Increasing the cost of medical care, but decreasing the cost of medical research?

A January 10th, 2013 NYTimes article quotes a RAND institute study that found that the increasing adoption of electronic records is increasing medical care. It states that the cost of medical care was predicted to fall by $80 Billion through the adoption of medical records, while the actual costs increased by $800 billion since companies started to adopt these systems (costs increased due to other factors as well such as aging populations, increasing efficiency of diagnoses and subsequent treatments etc). An interesting read, but it may primarily serve to reinforce (some of) our cynical beliefs of collusion between big companies and the ecosystems that validate their existence.

A more interesting read(personally) is a follow-up NYTimes article that speaks about the benefits that were not measured by the RAND study viz., the value of the EMR data to improve the drug development process. The possibilities seem very interesting.

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