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With one look at the statistics, it's clear that there is a healthcare crisis in our country. American adults, on average, receive only a little more than half of the health care measures recommended for their conditions.

For example, nearly a third of adults and children with asthma do not receive effective medication. Iatrogenic injuries (adverse events being the most common) are up to 180,000 U.S. deaths each year. Medical errors cause between 44,000 to 98,000 annual deaths, and incur an annual cost of $17-29 billion.

These are staggering statistics that demand the need for efficiency and transformation in the overall "healthcare ecosystem." This transformation will be enabled efficiently through the effective and intelligent use of modern technology supported by flexible and agile architectures, such as SOA.

SOA is a set of business-driven architectural design principles that represent business functionality as implementation-neutral, standards-based, distributed, loosely coupled, and re-usable services. Applied to the "healthcare ecosystem," they enable the system to be more agile and to respond more quickly to changing business needs.

The healthcare ecosystem includes the various segments that have an impact on global patient safety issues -- from pharmaceutical companies and laboratories developing the drug including FDA reviews, to post-marketing safety surveillance of these drugs, translating the effects and benefits of these drugs to the appropriate consumers, and finally the transactional issues dealing with payers, providers and the consumers.

This is a vast arena, but what is common to all of these areas is they all have an impact, in their own way, on patient safety. All of these elements in the ecosystem are moving towards modernization of their business processes, architecture and technology stacks. A number of integration frameworks and architectures have spun up which further require strong governance and a common standard to type all those together.

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