Unsustainable and ever-escalating U.S. health care costs, an estimated $700 billion in wasteful spending and the emerging centricity of medical information and its seamless availability in the search for solutions prompt investigation into the value of creating functional medical device interoperability -- the ability for medical devices to exchange information with each other and with patient data repositories such as electronic health records.
This report examines areas of waste in health care that can potentially be eliminated through greater medical device interoperability and the adoption of commonly accepted standards for interoperability. Waste reduction through greater medical device interoperability would lead to increased efficiency, improved quality and more affordable care. Commonly adopted standards can accelerate the move towards greater medical device interoperability and potentially reduce the cost of achieving interoperability. With all of the caveats associated with estimating the value of a process improvement not yet deployed, our combined top-down and bottom-up modeling suggests that annual savings in excess of $30 billion may be liberated by widespread adoption of functional interoperability for medical devices.