Qui bono? Interesting blog post over on InformationWeek about the tension between IT providers and patients over the push toward electronic billing records. I note it because the blogger notes, damningly, the question, "who will profit from digital medical records?" I know there are plenty of people occupying the corriders of power who want us to be in some sort of neo-Marxist paradise, but ain't nobody gonna do nothing for free. If EMRs, EHRs, and other personal digital health records are a good thing (and everyone tells us that they are not only good, but necessary), and we want them, we cannot expect to have them unless we pay for them, and we cannot expect anyone to provide them if they can't profit from doing so.
Who profits? As with any other exchange of goods and services in a free market, both sides. Those giving it away from free are either charitable donors or slaves, neither of which is a reasonable economic model for getting the goods and services you want.