The allure of health care for tech giants
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.