How big a network will the Health Internet (aka National Health Information Network) be?
My BOTE (back-of-the-envelope) calculation is that this network could consist of about 301 million nodes. Here’s my math (pls. clarify or amplify):
- 300 million individuals in U.S.
- 700 K doctors
- 5 K hospitals
- 295 K — other B2B healthcare entities
Very rough…but I hope you get the point.
So let’s put into perspective press releases from Google or Microsoft announcing that they have developed new “partnerships” (i.e.nodes in the network) for Google Health or Microsoft HealthVault. As an example, today Google announced partnerships with APWU Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan.
These press releases are like announcing that we’ve just completed laying the concrete between Dallas and Fort Worth in the U.S. Interstate Highway System.
They’re relevant and necessary…but only a small part of the story of the whole network.
My point is in no way to minimize the importance of these partnerships (individual nodes in the network), but only to put them in perspective. We’re building a huge Health Internet network, and it’s going to take a while.