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Obama gives shout out to health IT in speech

January 31, 2011

Health information technology turned out to be one of the honored guests at this year’s State of the Union Address, delivered by President Barack Obama. Health IT was an underlining theme in many of the president’s comments.

Obama stated repeatedly that investing in technological advancements, particularly in mobile and wireless capacities, will help the future of the nation and get people back to work.

“In America, innovation doesn’t just change our lives, it’s how we make a living,” Obama said.

One example Obama cited to show progress was electronic health records software, sayng that veterans can now download their entire medical records with a click of a mouse. He also discussed the importance of expanding access to high-speed wireless networks, which could help a patient in a rural community have face-to-face chats with his or her doctor.

This is the eighth year in a row that health IT has been a part of the State of the Union Address, which is a welcome sign for advocates of information technology advancements in the medical field.

“While the debate will certainly continue on exactly how we go about creating and implementing policy, it was very encouraging to hear the increased vigor supporting additional investments in innovation around biomedical research and information technology,” Justin Barnes, chairman emeritus of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s EHR Association, told Healthcare IT News.

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