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Bob Herman Jul 20
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The allure of health care for tech giants

Rebecca Zisser / Axios

There are reasons Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants aren't more deeply immersed in health care (and have failed in some past projects). Health care has a lot of spending concerns, regulatory hurdles and life-and-death decisions that aren't a part of running a web site or making an iPad.

But health care has a lot of appeal, both from the money to be made and the prospect of helping keep people healthier by analyzing health care data. The industry has moved a lot of its records from paper to digital form, but many people think the information could be made a whole lot more useful and shareable.

Look ahead: If a major tech conglomerate wanted to take a bigger gamble on health care, there are a lot of ways to get in the industry right now. There's already speculation among industry analysts that Apple could try to buy Athenahealth, which makes cloud-based electronic health records for physician offices and small hospitals.