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Keys to Staying Competitive in the e-Health Arena

With the arrival of the Information Age, businesses are inundated with various data sources in large part because of the wealth of information available on the Internet.

Organizations must be able to tap into the various sources of information and have it presented in an organized, working fashion; they need the data turned into usable knowledge.

In order to transform the available information into business intelligence, companies are looking to technology for the solution, whether it is a platform or a software program. The healthcare industry, in particular, has been profoundly affected by the proliferation of available information. In addition to volumes of medical information, there are myriad sources of useful competitive intelligence.

Knowledge is the latest and most significant component of the healthcare revolution. Fueled by the emerging power of the Internet, it is changing the way companies do business. However, many organizations are not taking full advantage of the enterprise tools that will exploit this knowledge management revolution that is currently invading the e-health space.

Knowledge is managed by creating an intelligent display of existing information. Therefore, knowledge management solutions are vital to a successful company, because in this e-health revolution, if you control the knowledge, you control the market.

For example, many products of pharmaceutical companies are essentially similar compounds. What distinguishes a drug and carves out a niche in the marketplace for a product is the way that the manufacturer leverages knowledge. This distinction is evident in how manufacturers market their drugs compared with their competitors. To effectively leverage this knowledge, market players must manage the Internet and be able to share the knowledge across the enterprise.

Businesses are presented with hundreds of Web sites where they can gather information and perform research to answer questions. Yet, it is difficult to know which site contains the most accurate and consistent data. Often, individuals must investigate many sites to find the answer to simple questions.

While all of the information is available to businesses, it is disorganized and spread throughout the Internet. Thus, it takes up to 75 percent of one’s time accessing the key information and leaves only 25 percent to put it to use.

It is ironic to think that in this age, organizations are still not taking full advantage of the available technology. In fact, there is technology that enables data to be aggregated from thousands of sources, organized and presented in a clear, concise manner. This technology is vital for healthcare companies that need to amass data to offer multiple solutions to the varied market segments involved in the e-health space. This solution connects and consolidates information from disjointed regions of the healthcare arena. Accurate and appropriate information from reliable sources needs to be available at an individual’s fingertips.

For instance, a solution that provides the industry with the ability to monitor and comprehend complex markets, such as women’s healthcare, would be invaluable. Women’s healthcare encompasses many different individual markets including osteoporosis, hormone replacement therapy, oncology, urinary incontinence, depression and cardiovascular diseases. A tool that manages the information within these market segments, aggregates it and analyzes it into one complete, relevant picture, would provide the enterprise with clarity and confidence in strategic decisions. Also, the information would establish a foundation for future understanding and planning.

The most appealing and competitive organizations offer a multitude of innovative solutions to informational problems. The integration of information and creation of intelligence from diverse Internet sources provides a level of knowledge that was previously unreachable at such a fast pace. As the marketplace continues to grow and evolve, real-time access to this in-depth information is essential. Organizations must learn to fully tap into the power of the Internet to leverage standing within the competitive healthcare space. Organizations are looking for a “one-stop shop” in their search for actionable intelligence.

Further, many companies fail to understand the importance of a fully compatible and scalable product. With the amount of globalization that occurs in today’s economic environment, scalability is an extremely, if not essential, component to any organization. Corporations need to be connected; they need accurate, real-time solutions in a prompt fashion.

Finally, organizations must have or work toward a global platform and presence. The healthcare market is constantly fluctuating and changing worldwide. New markets are developing innovative solutions, ideas and drugs. In order to stay abreast of the industry, organizations must be involved on a global level.

The healthcare market is changing and will continue to fluctuate for the next several years. In many ways, the healthcare industry is working to jump into the information age, a leap that many other industries have already taken. Therefore, the space will continue to fluctuate as the industry requires adjustment and the technology advances. Ultimately, organizations that will succeed in the e-health industry need to partner with companies offering solutions to effectively leverage their knowledge, technology and their global presence in the volatile e-health market.

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