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Why Open Architecture Is Vital to the Health Sector

By Rex Moore - Mar 6, 2014 at 9:30AM

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Consumers are generating more and more lifestyle data. Getting it to health care professionals is the next big step.

For insurer UnitedHealth Group ( UNH 0.03% ), partnerships with Fitbit and other tech companies offer an opportunity to use consumer-generated data to improve health outcomes. Open architecture is a key part of this effort.

UnitedHealth Chief Consumer Officer Tom Paul sat on “The Empowered Consumer” panel at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, exploring how digital health can deliver practical solutions and give consumers the power of knowledge and choice. In this video, Tom talks about the importance of open architecture in health care.

A full transcript follows the video.

Tom Paul: It’s really important in the new world -- in this transformed health care world -- that open architecture, open environment, become a part of the way we do business. What that really means in that we know that we won’t be able to provide that holistic experience. We’re dependent upon partnerships, both from a health professional perspective, as we do in our networks today, but also in technology and data as well.

Our focus is really on an open environment that allows us to get that more holistic experience and integrate the data and the tools, in a way that will make it easier for the consumer to experience their health.

One good example around that is more and more consumers are wearing activity tracking devices; those that track how many steps you take, how many stairs you’re climbing, what kind of food you’re eating.

We’re now incorporating that data, partnering with those organizations -- companies like Fitbit -- incorporating their data into our consumer experience so that we get that holistic view and, in turn, give it back to the consumer.

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