UnitedHealth Launches Cloud Platform for Data Exchange, Health Apps

UnitedHealth Group plans to launch a new cloud-computing platform that will allow for the exchange of electronic health data across multiple devices and locations, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to UnitedHealth's Optum health-services unit, the platform will allow health providers and insurers to share data, as well as access health applications from outside developers.

Incorporating Apps

Initially, the apps will be aimed at hospitals, physicians and health plans.

For example, the Cleveland Clinic is helping to develop an app that aids health providers in the so-called bundling of payments for a particular procedure or condition.

Optum eventually might allow apps designed for consumers, government health care payers or pharmaceutical manufacturers.

It plans to charge for data storage, as well as collect fees for putting developers' apps in the cloud.

Optum said it plans to launch a beta version of the service in June and intends to expand it more broadly later this year (Wilde Mathews, Wall Street Journal, 2/14).

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