Optum Introduces Health Care Cloud Environment that Enables Secure Collaboration, Enhances Patient Care and Speeds Innovation

February 14, 2012
  • The Optum health care cloud to simplify creation and implementation of health IT
  • Secure platform to enable collaboration necessary to improve patient care, reduce costs
  • The health care cloud will feature Optum Care Suite, with its set of clinical decision support and productivity management apps

Health services leader Optum today launched a secure, cloud-based environment designed to help everyone involved in patient care communicate and collaborate more effectively to improve health outcomes. The Optum health care cloud will be previewed at the HIMSS 2012 conference in Las Vegas, Feb. 20-24.

The Optum health care cloud simplifies the lives of caregivers, innovators and health IT managers – those whose work has the greatest impact on patient care and on the performance of the health system. The Optum health care cloud helps these health professionals communicate and access essential health intelligence more efficiently, create and deploy health applications quickly and manage technology in their offices or across networks with ease.

“Through this health care cloud, Optum is delivering capabilities essential to making the health system work better. By providing a secure place where more people can contribute to the creation of health applications, and where health professionals can better manage their work and time, Optum can help improve patient experiences and outcomes across the health system,” said Andy Slavitt, group executive vice president at Optum.

Better communication, collaboration and health IT integration
The health care cloud from Optum is designed to meet the highly specialized demands of the health system. The environment features an intuitive dashboard that helps users access the information and applications they need throughout their day to support medical decisions. This supports fully informed, better-coordinated care and treatment decisions.

The Optum health care cloud features secure text and video chat capabilities to help health professionals connect, communicate and collaborate with other health professionals and with patients. These capabilities are necessary for full participation in Accountable Care Organizations and other emerging care models that require more effective collaboration. It also includes productivity tools that easily integrate with a range of health IT systems to help doctors, nurses and other clinicians, and health administrators organize their information and resources in one, simple interface, accessible securely from any Internet-connected device.

For example, the health care cloud from Optum can integrate the applications that patients use, such as biometric monitors, with the health information systems used by physician practices, hospitals and health plans. This keeps electronic medical records up-to-date and automates delivery of progress notes to members of the care team. Working from a common set of complete patient information, physicians and patients can make treatment decisions together, track progress and stay connected between appointments. The Optum health care cloud also enhances patient safety by ensuring all care team members can access consistent information from diagnosis through the end of treatment. Further, the Optum health care cloud helps physicians and administrators save time by streamlining key quality measurement, regulatory compliance, billing and other administrative tasks.

Accelerating innovation, implementation of health care apps
Health professionals and other innovators can leverage the Optum health care cloud to create and host their applications. A Developer Toolkit includes HIPAA compliance modules, collaboration tools and other health care technology essentials. A Chief Information Officer Toolkit supports deployment of internal and external applications, and provides templates for creating a master patient index and other resources that support population health management.

In the second quarter of 2012, a software development kit (SDK) optimized for health care will be available to health apps developers. This open toolkit will help a large, growing community of innovators quickly turn their ideas into working solutions that health professionals can deploy quickly and inexpensively.

The health care cloud from Optum also features a marketplace where entrepreneurs can market and deliver their solutions to a hundreds of thousands of health professionals and thousands of health organizations.

“The Optum health care cloud will support widespread innovation across the health system by removing barriers to applications development and by helping health care professionals work together more easily to enhance patient care,” said Ted Hoy, senior vice president and general manager of cloud business platforms at Optum. “The goal is to enable users to combine applications, data, analytics and services to their own specifications to improve patient and population health while improving efficiency and reducing costs.”

Combining leading technical, analytical and health care expertise
Optum is bringing together medical professionals, entrepreneurs and leading technology companies to develop and test its cloud environment.

Working with Cisco , Optum has embedded Cisco’s core collaboration, networking and cloud capabilities into the health care cloud experience. Other partners, including EMC, HP and IBM helped build data management and additional networking capabilities. Physicians and health IT companies, including CareCore National , Cleveland Clinic, HealthLoop and MyHealthDIRECT helped to define user requirements. These parties will be among the first to bring their innovative, care-enhancing ideas to life via the health care cloud environment.

“Optum understands the practical and technological barriers to delivering better care and the benefits of creating a more efficient health system, and its health care cloud represents a significant leap forward. Cisco’s focus is providing a foundation for the Optum health care cloud so that health professionals are confident in their ability to collaborate with peers and specialists using the latest technology. We’re proud to be part of the health care cloud from Optum,” said Randy Pond, executive vice president of Operations, Processes and Systems at Cisco.

Optum seeds the cloud with Optum Care Suite
Optum will make its health information, workflow and analytics solutions available via its health care cloud, beginning with Optum Care Suite, also announced today. Optum Care Suite serves the needs of doctors, hospitals and the broader clinical community through user-friendly apps that deliver health intelligence to those who need it to make decisions; and automate performance measures and compliance reporting.

The Optum health care cloud and Optum Care Suite will be shown at the HIMSS 2012 conference in Las Vegas, Feb. 20-24. Attendees, developers, entrepreneurs and health IT companies are encouraged to visit the Optum exhibit space (booth #4245) to see demonstrations and learn how they can leverage the Optum health care cloud to improve their operations and bring new applications to market.


About Optum
Optum (www.optum.com) is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. Optum comprises three companies – OptumHealth, OptumInsight and OptumRx – representing over 30,000 employees worldwide who collaborate to deliver integrated, intelligent solutions that work to modernize the health system and improve overall population health. 

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