Major healthcare IT collaboration between Duke, Verizon announced

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Officials from Duke University and telecoms giant Verizon have announced a new partnership that will improve the quality of care for patients in North Carolina, according to Information Week.

The project also aims to improve the research capabilities of Duke University, as well as reduce healthcare IT operations costs in medical facilities across the state. In addition to sharing technological resources, the collaboration will enable students at Duke to become actively involved in management and business decisions relating to the initiative.

“The ties between academia and technology companies run long and deep, and this collaboration underscores Verizon’s commitment to enabling the transformation of U.S. healthcare delivery through the common-sense application of [healthcare IT],” Dr. Peter Tippett, vice president of Verizon’s Connected Healthcare Solutions division, said in a statement, as quoted by MSNBC News.

Another major goal of the project is the identification and assessment of healthcare IT technologies, such as clinical informatics systems, in terms of commercial viability and the practicality of implementation. A scientific advisory board will also be formed to oversee the initiative, comprised of senior university officials and Verizon representatives.

Other objectives identified as priorities for the collaboration include determining the extent of telehealth solutions to identify patient health problems; adoption of emerging mobile healthcare IT solutions such as smartphone applications and medical informatics systems; and the viability of upscaling smaller development projects focusing on home-based medical sensor technology. Wireless technology and its uses in telehealth projects is a key research area of the two organizations, with Duke focusing on development of new healthcare IT projects and Verizon handling issues of scalability and deployment.

According to MSNBC News, the partnership has been in the discussion phase for over two years, shortly after Verizon formed its Connected Healthcare Solutions division in 2009.