Forbes.com - Say Yes to the Yen - Shawn Baldwin


Say Yes To The Yen
Shawn Baldwin 08.17.10, 4:55 AM ET

The Japanese yen recently rallied to 15-year highs against the U.S. dollar along with hitting highs against other major currencies. Throughout the economic crisis, the yen has continued to display strength; while other currencies have seen their gains reduced significantly, the yen has gained over 40% since the economic crisis began--almost 8% of that has been over the last 2 months.

Why does the yen continue to rise?

Because of narrowing interest rate differentials, concerns about the world economic outlook and the possibility of intervention.

Japan's finance minister has allayed those fears, stating that the yen's rise continues to be set by the markets. It is easy to understand why some feel that the Minister would want to intervene. The rising yen against the dollar makes Japanese goods considerably more expensive for American consumers--Japan Inc.’s largest export customer.

The continued strengthening of the yen makes the revenue earned from Japanese companies' U.S. subsidiaries worth less when the repatriated revenues are converted from dollars into yen. This has already caused Japan's business groups to cry out for a reduction in tax rates--but surprisingly, to be steadfast in supporting no intervention.

The currency’s strength certainly isn’t due to Japanese domestic economic strength. Instead, the yen's strength is a by-product of private sector recycling of the current account surplus and international purchases of Japanese assets. U.S. dollar weakness is a strong factor, and that suggests that intervention on the bilateral pair may not be successful.

This makes it highly unlikely that the Bank of Japan will intervene. The last time that the BOJ intervened to weaken the yen was in 2003, when over the course of 126 days the Ministry of Finance sold yen in the open market to purchase $315 billion. These measures eventually sent the yen 11% lower.

However, overall success of interventions in changing the long-term path of a currency is less certain--and they only seem to work when nations coordinate their efforts--highly unlikely in this environment. From a historical basis, the G-8 industrialized countries have not intervened in the foreign exchange markets throughout the economic crisis, making intervention impractical and not politically feasible.

So do not expect Japan's Minister of Finance to intervene--unless the yen strengthens beyond 84.8, the multiyear high set last November after the Dubai sovereign debt shock.

Because the yen's strength may aggravate existing disinflationary forces, the prudent course of action would be to increase Japanese government bond purchases in combination with an expansion of policies to accelerate international buying of the instruments.

For all the latest headlines visit Forbes Asia.

One more reason the yen may continue to appreciate: China's activity. Recent data from Japan shows that China has increased its holdings of Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs) by $6.2 billion in the first trimester of 2010, more than double its previous record in 2005. China bought more JGBs than it sold for the first half of the year, the biggest annual increase since 2005. China then purchased a net 456.4 billion yen ($5.3 billion) of JGB’s in June, following record net buying of 735.2 billion yen in May, according to the Japanese Ministry of Finance.

Japan has also reported large purchases of yen money-market accounts by nonresidents--a total of $10.7 billion from July 11to 17. It would be prudent to assume that a number of these purchases are being made by the Chinese. Because China now says that it pegs its currency to a basket of currencies and not the U.S. dollar, this could tactically be an ideal time for China to readjust its $2.5 trillion dollar reserve portfolio away from the greenback.

China isn’t the largest holder of yen--the U.K. is, and London bought over 26.3 trillion yen last year and have invested another 18.3 trillion yen this year, further powering the currency. Given the weakening U.S. dollar in a soft economy, this creates an opportunity for traders. Expect investors to fuel the yen’s rally and continue to propel the currency to record highs.

Shawn Baldwin is chairman of Capital Management Group, an investment advisory and research firm based in Chicago. Neither he nor his family nor CMG own Japanese government bonds.

For all the latest headlines visit Forbes Asia.

Posted via email from Global Macro Blog


Malta continues to grow market share in ucits hedge funds - Hedge Funds Review

Malta is considered the newcomer to Ucits hedge funds, although the country’s service providers were well acquainted with the products before EU membership in 2004. Joining up gave Malta’s financial services industry a stamp of approval. This also meant Ucits funds could be passported to other EU member states.

Malta implemented the Ucits III regime immediately on accession. Malta’s choice as a domicile for a Ucits hedge fund is usually based on several factors including the efficiency and flexibility of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), quality support services available in the jurisdiction, relatively low set-up and maintenance costs and an exemption from income tax and capital gains tax at fund level and at non-resident investor level, irrespective of the legal form adopted. There is a possibility to set up self-managed funds and fund managers may be established as a Maltese company which allows tax refunds on distribution of dividends. Finally Malta, like other jurisdictions, offers the possibility to redomicile a fund from elsewhere relatively easily. A fund can migrate to Malta without having to be wound up, subject to certain relatively straightforward conditions.

Since EU accession Malta has also built up its hedge funds business. Dermot Butler at Custom House Global Fund Services, the Malta-based parent company of Custom House Group of Companies, says the jurisdiction is basically in the same place Ireland was 15-20 years ago when it first started its funds business. Then people said Ireland had little chance of challenging Luxembourg, remembers Butler, but Ireland went after the alternative sides and built up what has become the leading jurisdiction for fund administration of hedge funds and other alternatives products.

Malta has built up its hedge fund business primarily by attracting the smaller start-ups and emerging managers. The attraction is not just price, although some aspects of Malta’s offering may be cost competitive compared with Ireland and Luxembourg. One of its main selling points, if not the key one, is the regulator. The MFSA has a reputation for having the time to listen to ideas from managers thinking of setting up a fund structure in Malta. It is universally acclaimed to be open and approachable, flexible yet firm. This is a regulator, say those operating in Malta, that takes a sensible no--nonsense approach to regulation.

When applied to Ucits, MFSA is seen as keen to adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of the law. This is important. Some regulators in the EU, say many in Malta, tend to bend the rules in order to allow hedge fund strategies to use a Ucits wrapper even though there is more than a question mark about their suitability as a Ucits product.

The MFSA is still flexible in discussing terms with funds looking to set up a Ucits structure. However, it will seek “comfort” from other regulators or informally consult the committee of European securities regulators (Cesr) if it has questions over the suitability of the structure. “The MFSA is not afraid of referring or consulting. It doesn’t just approve a fund and let the operator face the music,” says Andre Zerafa, a partner at Ganado & Associates.

If there is any doubt that another regulator might not agree with the interpretation of Ucits being used, Zerafa believes there is an obligation to ensure other regulators in the EU will accept the structure. Otherwise, points out Zerafa, a fund could find it is rejected in another jurisdiction and that could cause problems. “The regulator should ensure that if a fund is given a licence it can be passported without any problem,” he says. There have been cases of a jurisdiction giving the green light to a suspect structure only to have other jurisdictions reject it.

Some like Zerafa wonder whether Ucits is a structure suitable for the majority of hedge funds. “Most hedge fund mangers would find it difficult to convert their hedge funds into Ucits hedge funds. It imposes conditions and restrictions they are not used to. At the moment hedge funds are not used to restrictions on how they managing their portfolios. Opening a Ucits hedge fund is a bit like a sex change operation for them. It is not something they do lightly,” notes Zerafa.

Joseph Saliba at law firm MAMO TCV agrees: “There is a question of Ucits hedge funds. To us it is a strange animal.” He says that some hedge fund strategies clearly cannot be made to fit within Ucits: “Ucits hedge funds still need to be tested by the MFSA to ensure the promoter is following the directive’s rules and there are no hiccups.” He points out that the MFSA also is proactive in issuing guidelines and notes to explain its reasoning when implementing directives as well as Maltese regulations.

Zerafa thinks the reason funds are looking at Ucits products reflects the uncertainty over the alternative investment fund managers (AIFM) directive stuck in Brussels. Under Ucits there is at least some certainty, he admits, compared with the uncertainty of whether offshore funds or even onshore regulated funds like Malta’s professional investor funds (PIFs) will be allowed when AIFM finally hits the statute books. PIFs are not regulated as tightly as Ucits funds and are targeted at financially literate investors. Hedge funds, private equity funds and property funds are normally structured as PIFs. These funds can be set up as standard or self-managed schemes.

He points out that if AIFM allows funds that comply with the -directive to be passported across the EU, that could be a better alternative to Ucits, particularly if the fund can operate under a less restrictive regime.

Simon Tortell of Simon Tortell & Associates thinks under Ucits IV, Malta. like others, may find that a master/feeder structure becomes the norm, particularly for US-based hedge fund managers. Under this the master would remain Cayman or -Delaware--domiciled with a feeder fund that is Ucits compliant to allow easier access by European investors.

Tortell also thinks Malta will be well-placed to take advantage of other aspects of Ucits IV, particularly as the country has always allowed hedge funds to outsource services to other EU jurisdictions. This means, for example, that a management company set up under Ucits IV in Malta could keep its fund administration in Luxembourg or Ireland.

Something everyone agrees on in Malta is the lack of choice of custodian. Without a wider selection beyond the two main providers – local domestic Bank of Valletta and international HSBC – few believe Malta will be able to attract a large number of Ucits hedge funds or platforms offering a quick route to a Ucits structure.

While HSBC is recognised worldwide, Bank of Valletta is less well known. “It is a question of a chicken and egg situation,” explains Saliba. “In this case the first step is the custodian which is the chicken. You have them and the eggs, the Ucits funds, will follow.”

Negotiations with a number of global custodians are underway with Malta and many confidently expect at least small operations by a few of them to open before the end of the year. The idea would be to have a relatively small presence and gear up once the business comes in.

Ucits funds are the new black in the Hedge Fund universe. Malta is the the forgotten treasure of Europe, and it has Ucits too.

Posted via email from Global Macro Blog

Say Yes To The Yen - Forbes.com

Japan's currency will continue its climb.


Shawn Baldwin

The Japanese yen recently rallied to 15-year highs against the U.S. dollar along with hitting highs against other major currencies. Throughout the economic crisis, the yen has continued to display strength; while other currencies have seen their gains reduced significantly, the yen has gained over 40% since the economic crisis began--almost 8% of that has been over the last 2 months.

Why does the yen continue to rise?

See the full article at http://www.forbes.com/2010/08/17/yen-currency-foreign-exchange-markets-econom....

Posted via email from Global Macro Blog

Fed's Kocherlakota: Markets misinterpreted FOMC’s decision

From Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota: Inside the FOMC

The FOMC’s decision has had a larger impact on financial markets than I would have anticipated. My own interpretation is that the FOMC action led investors to believe that the economic situation in the United States was worse than they, the investors, had imagined. In my view, this reaction is unwarranted. The FOMC’s decisions were largely predicated on publicly available data about real GDP, its various components, unemployment, and inflation. I would say that there is no new information about the current state of the economy to be learned from the FOMC’s actions or its statement.
Kocherlakota points out that the Fed's balance sheet was falling quicker than anticipated because of the high level of refinancing as mortgage rates have declined.

But Kocherlakota fails to note that the mortgage rates have declined because of the weaker economy - and the Fed appears to be behind the curve in adjusting their views lower.

Kocherlakota is forecasting that real GDP growth in the 2nd half of 2010 will be about the same as in the first half:

Based on estimates from our Minneapolis forecasting model, I expect GDP growth to be around 2.5 percent in the second half of 2010 and close to 3.0 percent in 2011. There is a recovery under way in the United States, and I expect it to continue.
Although Kocherlakota forecast is possible - and is a weak recovery - I think the economy will slow in the 2nd half.

And I think the growing view isn't that the economy is worse than investors had imagined, but that the Fed is once again behind the curve on the economic outlook.

Has the market been overreacting to the FOMC's most recent announcement that it will be freezing its balance sheet at current $2.5T by using returns from mortgage-backed securities bought following the collapse of Bear, Lehman and AIG to buy 5- and 10-year treasuries, maintaining its loosy-goosy monetary policy?

Dubbed QE2-lite the FOMC announcement outlined a hybrid of the more radical and oft predicted 'QE2' expansion of the Fed balance sheet, which presumably would have grown to $5T, all in an effort to fight off deflation and unfreeze long-suffering credit markets in the western world. If this sounds like its a 'last-resort' strategy, that's because it is precisely that.

I believe the markets are beginning to prove that the LARGE fundamental underlying problems suffering the international economic and political systems are no longer distant matters for another generation, they are immediate mortal threats to mankind and we are stuck with the current crop of partisan-obsessed talking heads who we all know are bound to fail us terribly whether tomorrow or a year from now..

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And Then There Were Two: Rumor Romer Resigning From Obama Economic Think Tank | zero hedge

First Orszag, now Romer? If the latest rumor about the imminent defection of one of the three remaining policy stalwarts is true, it means the administration's economic policy is on the verge of collapse. Hotline Oncall reports: "Christina Romer, chairwoman of Pres. Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, has decided to resign, according to a source familiar with her plans. Romer, an economics professor at the University of California (Berkeley) before taking the key admin post, did not respond to repeated calls to her office." The sad reality is that Romer's (who has largely been a mere figurehead and staffed to provide soundbites to CNBCs how every worsening NFP report is in reality a dramatic improvement, a job which even Steve Liesman can do with a passing grade) departure will only make the remaining two people in Obama's economic circle, Tim Geithner and Larry Summers, even more powerful. Why couldn't those two leave? Surely both have by now earned their $2.5 million a year job at Goldman... We now anticipate the 8-K from Whitehouse Corp announcing the appointment of Paul Krugman and Mark Zandi to fill the newly vacant positions.
More from Hotline Oncall:
"She has been frustrated," a source with insight into the WH economics team said. "She doesn't feel that she has a direct line to the president. She would be giving different advice than Larry Summers [director of the National Economic Council], who does have a direct line to the president."
"She is ostensibly the chief economic adviser, but she doesn't seem to be playing that role," the source said. The WH has been pounded for its faulty forecast that unemployment would not top 8% after its economic stimulus proposal passed.
Instead, the jobless rate is 9.5%, after exceeding 10% last year. It was "a horribly inaccurate forecast," said Bert Ely, a banking consultant. "You have to wonder why Summers isn't the one that should be taking the fall. But Larry is a pretty good bureaucratic infighter."
Another abrupt exit from the West Wing economic team has left the Obama Administration scrambling for excuses and Ms Romer verbalizing very familiar frustrations to her colleague Peter Orzag, recently retired Budget Czar. Unfortunately, we are stuck with tweedle-dee (Tiny Tim) and tweedle-dumbo (Summers) now and their dominance over the presidents thought on economic policy has only been buffeted by Romer's abrupt exit.


The American National Broadband Plan on Health Care: Opportunity in Abundant Supply

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) was issued last week to a warm reception and many high profile endorsements of its overriding objectives. The NBP addresses the issues of telemedicine, mobile health and the health care information technology (HCIT) industry as a whole through a candid snapshot of the current marketplace in chapter 10 (download the chapter here). In short, there is a clear acknowledgment of the possibility for innovation and new economic activity. Above all else, it is a clear attempt to stimulate entrepreneurial activity in new and clearly under-served markets.

It gave particular emphasis to the expectations that mobile health will provide tremendous economic activity and innovation over the course of the coming decade and beyond (See 3G Doctor Blog for additional highlights). I can say there is already considerable headway made in pursuit of these mobile health initiatives, particularly in the realm of body sensor networks, which consist of 'very short-range networks consisting of multiple body-worn sensors and/or nodes and a nearby hub station. The sensors and/or nodes make it possible to wirelessly transmit data to body-worn or closely located hub devices.' Hub devices can be any variety of connectivity agent (e.g. wireless routers, smart phones, netbooks and wireless data cards) which enable to exchange of patient information via dedicated broadband network. 

Wave Technology Group is a company my partners and I recently engaged through the University of Chicago Hospital's Pediatric Epilepsy Center. Wave was launched by Sam Cinquegrani, a local Chicago entrepreneur who cut his teeth is software developing object-oriented platforms for institutional clients such as the City of Chicago and the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) and Fortune 100 corporations, namely JP Morgan and Mitsubishi.

Sam's financial platforms sit at the center of the global economy and the broadband superhighways, facilitating the millions of daily transactions that pass through the largest options exchange in the world within a millisecond of their execution by traders working via custom applications that reside on their standard issue smart phone (e.g. Blackberry, iPhone, Android or Windows Mobile) and laptops or netbooks. Yet, despite the robust growth and success of this venture, Sam began to see an even bigger opportunity to take his platform-centric vision to a similarly information-intensive industry – Health Care.

To begin realizing this vision and true to his innovation-oriented disposition, Sam soon began experimenting with variations of his mobile trading technology, which couples bluetooth and 3G data connectivity provided by telecoms. My partners and I see Sam's vision as a brilliant approach to spawning application development and innovation in specialized telemedicine applications for treatment of diseases with easily targetable patients, such as the pediatric epilepsy joint venture Sam broached with the University that led him to us.

Sam is not alone in his optimistic outlook for the HCIT marketplace - IBM Strategic Finance and GE Capital have both extended multi-billion dollar funds to provide zero-percent interest financing to physicians as an additional incentive to spur early adoption. These two multi-national corporations are primarily motivated by a desire to bolster their EHR, EMR and HIE products, but they also reap the long-term windfall of collecting the Federally mandated subsidies outline in the HITECH Act as part of last years stimulus package. In total, they subsidize are currently slated to be $19B and change during a four year time frame from October 2010 through 2014.

Broadband for America is a good resource on the current state of broadband deployment and adoption with specific information on the impacts in health care and medicine, BfA is on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/BroadbandforAmerica.
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Federal Telemedicine News: $125 Billion Budget Request

Monday, February 8, 2010

$125 Billion Budget Request

Eric K. Shinseki, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs appeared before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs on February 4th to discuss the President’s VA budget request for FY 2011. The President’s budget provides $125 billion in 2011 which is almost $60.3 billion in discretionary resources and nearly $64.7 billion in mandatory funding.

The Secretary reported that in December 2009, the VA successfully exchanged electronic health record information in a pilot program between the VA Medical Center in San Diego and a local Kaiser Permanente hospital using the Nationwide Health Information Network. During the second quarter of 2010, DOD plans to join the pilot and there are plans to add additional Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record health community sites. The VA has $52 million available in IT funds in 2011 to continue the development and implementation of this priority.

The budget provides $51.5 million to use for medical care in 2011, which is an increase of $4 billion or 8.5 percent over the 2010 level. In 2011, the budget provides $2.6 billion to help meet the needs of veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The FY 2011 budget also includes funding to treat new patients resulting from the recent decision to add Parkinson’s disease, ischemic heart disease, and B-cell leukemia to the list of presumptive conditions for veterans with service in Vietnam.

The VA’s 2011 budget includes $250 million to strengthen access to healthcare for 3.2 million enrolled veterans living in rural and highly rural areas. Plans are to provide new rural health outreach and delivery initiatives and to expand the use of home-based primary care and mental health services.

The VA intends to expand the use of cutting edge telehealth technologies and would like to invest in $163 million in 2011 for home telehealth to take advantage of the latest technological advancement in healthcare delivery. The VA’s home telehealth program cares for 35,000 patients and a recent study found that patients enrolled in home telehealth programs experienced a 25 percent reduction in the average number of days hospitalized and a 19 percent reduction in hospitalizations.

According to the Secretary, the Department’s IT operations and maintenance program supports 334,000 users situated in 1,400 healthcare facilities, 57 regional offices, 158 national cemeteries around the country, plus the IT program maintains 8.5 million vital health and benefit records for veterans. The FY 2011 budget provides $3.3 billion for IT, which is the same level of funding provided in 2010.

The IT resources requested would fund IT to process education claims, to help the Financial and Logistics Integrated Technology Enterprise project replace outdated technology, further develop the paperless claims processing system, and continue to develop the VA’s EHR system for $342.2 million.

Posted via web from Connected Care Solutions


New Physician Adoption Statistics « Health IT Buzz

New Physician Adoption Statistics
Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 | Posted by: Dr. David Blumenthal | Category: ONC

The CDC recently released its latest report on the adoption of electronic health records/electronic medical records (EHR/EMR) amongst office-based physicians from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. As a physician who trained and initially practiced in a time where nearly every order, record, and prescription was paper-based, the results are striking to me.

The final results for 2008 show about 16.7 percent of physicians reported having systems that met the criteria of a basic EHR/EMR system, and about 4.4 percent reported that of a fully functional system. Preliminary results for 2009 show about 20.5 percent reported having systems that met the criteria of a basic system, and 6.3 percent reported that of a fully functional system.

Combined basic and fully functional statistics for the last 3 years are as follows:

  • 2007 – 17%,
  • 2008 – 21%,
  • Preliminary 2009 – 27%

The latest figures, especially the preliminary 2009 numbers, suggest that the pace of adoption of HIT is quickening. We expect that the federal government’s health IT strategy will accelerate the pace even further by systematically addressing the obstacles physicians experience in adopting health IT (see below).


The Obama administration believes health information technology (HIT) is a critical component of efforts to improve the quality, efficiency, and value of care delivered to patients. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is leading the administration’s efforts to support the thoughtful application of HIT. Cognizant of the numerous barriers that exist to making health IT work in real-world settings, the ONC is administering programs to systematically address these barriers:

Financial Resources Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Program: incentive payments to “meaningful users” who use health information technology to improve value and efficiency of care delivered to patients
Technical Assistance Regional Extension Centers: Up to 70 regional extension centers (REC) will help providers through the process of selecting and implementing electronic health records $643 Million

The vision of a health care system that uses information technology to improve the value of services to patients is inching closer towards reality.

The ONC is committed to making the transition to electronic health records successful for every physician and hospital.

I hope you will share the experiences, challenges, and success stories that belie these encouraging statistics.

– David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P. – National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, David Blumenthal, MD, blogs about physician adoption of electronic health records, a subject on which he has long been the go-to authority. With merely 27% of physicians deploying a fully functional EHR, its now up to Blumenthal to find real solutions and strategies for stimulating widespread adoption. So far his ideas and initiatives have been promising.

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Video Conferencing saving lives in Irish Hospitals

Claire O’Connell in the Irish Times has an interesting article on how a stroke patient at the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar received urgent and potentially life-saving treatment on Sunday after a consultant at another hospital used the RP-7 (the “Remote Presence Robot” pictured below) to assess her remotely and prescribe clot-busting medication.

“The patient, who had a stroke just after noon, was collected by ambulance and was at the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar by 1.30pm. She was assessed by Prof Des O’Neill at Tallaght Hospital using the RP-7, which also allowed him to talk with her, examine her scans and discuss treatment with members of the medical team in Mullingar. The patient was on clot-busting medication by 2.40pm and her condition improved in half an hour”

Prof O’Neill commented on this first with a reminder of the short time window there is for putting suitable patients on potentially life-saving thrombolytic drugs; “The key challenge is to get people to have their clot-busting drug within three hours of a stroke.”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 at 10:42 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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Personal Health Systems: A View from Across the Pond | Chillmark Research

The European Union (EU) is struggling with many of the same healthcare issues as the US, aging population, ever increasing costs of care and the need to move to new modalities of care.  This is one of the key take-aways from a recent EU-sponsored report: Reconstructing the Whole: Present and Future of Personal Health Systems.  This report looks at the present state of Personal Health Systems (PHS), assesses gaps (technology, process & culture) and lays out what is required to meet the “promise of PHS” by the year 2020.

The report takes a very broad brush to what is PHS including IT, sensors, diagnostics, and drug development (personalized).  This is a big report at some 240pgs and unfortunately is one of those reports that is all too big and all too academic to be useful to the average healthcare wonk.  But tucked within this future, sitting-on-the-bookshelf and collecting dust report are a couple of tidbits worth mentioning.

On pages 79-86 are a series of gap analysis tables (20 in all) addressing a wide range of areas associated with PHS.  Below is the Table addressing Patient Decision Aid Tools.

While the above gap analysis tables are instructive, they are not terribly “deep” and at times come across as superficial – thus would make good fodder for a “high-level” presentation to a less informed audience.

Arguably the best Table is found towards the end of the report titled: Six Domains of Implementation Gaps.

The table clearly lays out what are the future challenges to broader adoption and use of PHS.  The key take-away here is the surprising similarity between the US and its EU counterparts in the deployment and use of PHS, despite what are very different healthcare system models.  Which raises the question: Will such uber-players in the Personal Health Platforms (PHP) market, e.g., Dossia, Google Health and HealthVault create the systems and platforms required to support PHS data requirements?  HealthVault’s move into international markets, (Canada and Thailand) signal yes, but will providers, payers and ultimately consumers join in?

Still more questions then answers at this early juncture in the development of consumer-focused systems and platforms.  But there is a ray of hope in the global commonality of challenges faced that will lead to increasing attention and subsequently resources dedicated to bridging the gaps, addressing these challenges to create more effective and efficient care delivery models.

Chillmark Research does some very nice digging for useful learnings to be gleaned from an EU-sponsored report on the present and future of personal health systems. The second chart in particular does a great job of outlining the barriers to the establishment of a wholly unified personal health system.

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