I have been involved in Health Care IT technologies for most of my career and all I can say is that IT in health care needs to change and quite frankly go open source or at least get on better standards. Claims are not standardized, some come in as paper claims using standard mail, some come in using scanned paper claims in a PDF or TIFF format via e-mail or some sort of file transfer such as FTP, SFTP or HTTP. Claims that come in that were processed electronically and not on paper come in as XML files or X12 files. If they come in as X12 it was generally line fed by a mainframe from 20 years ago. Eventually everything gets converted into an electronic date interchange format (X12) and processed. First my question is why doesn’t the health care industry just force everyone to electronic based claims and have everything come in as X12 in the first place so you don’t have to convert image files into electronic claims or convert XML to X12.
Standards need to be forced in the Health Care industry to lower costs. In my opinion, this can be done with open source solutions or at the very least open standards in side some sort of propriety software. The health care industry needs just work together and create standards and get out of technology that is over twenty years old to reduce costs and help innovate the industry in terms of IT.
IBM should buy Novell now that the SCO lawsuit is finally over mostly to prevent Microsoft from buying Novell and acquiring the Unix System V copyrights. It is in IBM’s interest to buy Novell and also it is in the interest of the Open Source community that IBM buy’s Novell as well before Microsoft even thinks about it.
Another reason for IBM buying Novell would be to acquire SUSE Linux. IBM helped Novell buy SUSE Linux contributing 50 million dollars to the purchase and has been helping Novell sell SUSE. SUSE has the biggest market-share in the mainframe space and IBM still loves it’s mainframes.
Novell has a huge portfolio of products that would be beneficial to IBM’s existing datacenter products. I’m mostly think of Novell’s acquisition of Platespin. Those products would significantly add to IBM’s huge product portfolio.
I would forsee IBM unloading Zenworks and Groupwise or integrating Novell’s Zenworks and Groupwise into it’s Lotus business; infact I would imagine Novell’s brand replacing or supplementing Lotus.