IT latest prescription for health care

Nick Wakeman

Reports of diseases jumping from animals to humans and kicking off pandemics were fodder for science fiction plots just a few years ago. Today they are part of our reality.

Research to battle these and other diseases, such as cancer, once relied almost solely on test tubes and beakers. But today's laboratories are also armed with the power of the computer.

Doug Beizer's cover story, IT as health care warrior, examines how bioinformatics is gaining ground and how systems integrators are increasingly involved in today's fight against disease. Beizer focuses on a pair of projects. One is tracking and aiding research on six disease pathogens as part of a homeland security project. A second is on using bioinformatics for cancer research.

IT tools are being used to let researchers around the world collaborate as well as evaluate the results of other people's work. Vast databases store genomic data that researchers can tap into as they work. Whether it is fighting bioterrorism or finding new treatments for diseases, IT has claimed a prime spot for itself in these battles.

Also in this issue, we highlight some of the best that the government contracting industry has to offer with our coverage of the 2005 Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards. The Fairfax, Va., County Chamber of Commerce, the Professional Services Council and Washington Technology present the awards each year.

Earle Williams of BDM International fame stood out for me as he received the Hall of Fame award. He commands respect and attention but also is approachable, almost folksy. There is little doubt that he sets a high standard for today's IT leaders.

He also chided us here at Washington Technology for cutting off his subscription, which we have since restored. So, Mr. Williams, if you are not reading this, please let me know.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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