I’m MIT Technology Review’s chief correspondent, keeping an eye most often on the world of information and communication technologies—and asking my kids when I don’t understand what’s going on. Recent projects have taken me to Kenya to write about mobile-phone-based health initiatives, and Germany to explore how they’ll ramp up renewable power while closing down nuclear plants. My 2008 feature on the Obama campaign’s social-networking operation was selected for The Best Technology Writing 2009.
Boston Medical Center is one of a relative few of U.S. hospitals that have managed to break down bureaucratic barriers to exchange electronic medical records with community health centers having different owners—a first step toward statewide and nationwide exchanges to improve health-care quality and reduce waste. Meg Aranow, the hospital’s chief information officer, and Andrew Ulrich, an emergency department physician, describe the rationale for and emerging uses of this electronic-records network now serving many of Boston’s inner-city patients.
With Congress locked in a debate over how to reform the United States’ $2.3 trillion health-care industry, Harvard economist and health-care policy expert David Cutler explains how information technology affects the quality and economics of health care.
Dan Newman, chief medical information officer of Boston Medical Center, explains the workings of the hospital’s new electronic-records network connecting BMC with community health centers in the Boston area.
India is the fastest-growing mobile communications market in the world. The rural poor are rapidly adopting phones, so the technology could become a platform for providing banking services. Sanjay Swamy, CEO of the mobile-payment platform mChek, talks about the potential.
Mohanjit Jolly, executive director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, in India, describes how the country’s rural poor could improve their lives thanks to credit and banking services obtained via increasingly cheap mobile-phone services.