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|Articles - May 2014|
|Monday, April 28, 2014|
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Starting in the early 2000s, companies including then-Eugene-based GarageGames began offering game engines for a monthly fee, giving independent developers access to tools that previously cost millions of dollars to license or develop on their own. That plug-and-play business model is creating efficiencies offline as well — for companies across industry sectors.
Not far from Mad Otter, for example, the Eugene office of 4medica offers cloud-based services that weave together the often mismatched recordkeeping systems that medical providers access when treating patients. ”In the late ’90s, I realized that a huge problem with the whole paper chase that we were doing was the laboratory results,” says Oleg Bess, 4medica’s CEO and a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist based in Los Angeles. “Everybody in the office was always looking for that piece of paper, that test ... so when the opportunity presented itself, we started a company that created this connectivity from a lab to a physician.”
Today 4medica generates about $10 million in revenue working with about 40,000 doctors, primarily helping them view and order tests from laboratories. Moving those files to 4medica’s cloud simplifies the IT on both ends and makes the test results accessible from anywhere a doctor can log in.
The company, which sells other services within the market for electronic health records, will reach $22.3 billion worldwide by the close of 2015, according to an Accenture report cited by Health Data Management magazine. In the U.S., much of that growth will be fueled by federal healthcare reforms that envision the digitization of medical records as a key way to drive down healthcare costs. That might sound straightforward, but in practice, healthcare facilities in the U.S. lack even a standardized identification number to keep track of individual patients as they visit different providers. Creating and sharing records across computer systems that weren’t designed to work together can raise a huge challenge for smaller clinics.
“The cloud is really an enabling technology,” says John Schmidt, 4medica’s director of interoperability, who previously helped run the Eugene office’s predecessor company, Intechgra Database Solutions. “It levels the playing field between some of the smaller practices and some of these huge, hospital-owned networks.”
In Oregon about a dozen of 4medica’s 50 employees engineer complex interfaces that connect doctors’ offices to facilities like radiology centers or a national prescription database called Surescripts. Additionally, the company and others like it employ teams of specialists to maintain their remote databases 24-seven, with a level of redundancy and security that Schmidt says would be cost prohibitive for individual clinics. “It’s hard for a practice to have that skill set onboard.”
As more databases and software find their way into the cloud, a cluster of Oregon companies has emerged to help businesses make the most of the technology. “We really are at the stage where, I think, if someone has a really great idea and can execute on it pretty well, we can see people producing tools like Instagram and WhatsApp on public cloud infrastructure with relatively minimal capital investment,” says Puppet Labs chief information officer Nigel Kersten. These massively popular products seem to appear out of nowhere, he says, because cloud services are “essentially accelerating the rate of technological change and democratizing access to computing resources.”
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
The ongoing labor disputes at the Port of Portland came to a head two weeks ago when Hanjin, the container port's largest client, notified its customers it would be ending its direct route to Oregon.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
At Oregon State University, a 21st century version of the bad dream — nuclear terrorism — is alive and well. This winter, the Department of Nuclear Physics and Radiation Health Physics created a new interdisciplinary graduate emphasis in nuclear forensics, a Sherlock Holmes-sounding program that aims to identify how and where confiscated nuclear and radiological materials were created.
Friday, February 27, 2015
VIDEO: 2015 100 Best Companies to work for in Oregon
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Janet LaBar, Executive director, Greater Portland Inc.
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Don’t just sit there. For a healthy workplace, move up and down — and all around.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Baseball is returning to Portland and city officials are hoping economic opportunity comes with it.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT
The CRC is a cautionary tale about how we plan for, finance and invest in transportation infrastructure.
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A new report highlights how Oregon bankers are giving back to their communities.
Since 1932 Tidewater Transportation & Terminals (operating as Tidewater Barge Lines and Tidewater Terminal Company) has operated a multicommodity transportation and terminal company based in Vancouver, Washington. The friendly expression on the company’s shipping containers reflects the attitude of about 330 safety and community-conscious employees but belies how complicated the barge business really is.
The Port of The Dalles has run marine facilities since the 1930s, but they are part of a larger mission to strengthen the local economy. They focus on regional economic development with a strong bent toward adding good-paying jobs in high tech, manufacturing and other industries.
The Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University has maintained its business accreditation by AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Like the advent of the locomotive, the cloud creates business opportunities that simply weren’t possible before now. Get up to speed fast in May at an exciting cloud-empowered Portland event.
Registration is now open for Portland Business Alliance’s Annual Meeting, one of the largest business gatherings in Portland each year.