Linked data will change health care

Boing Boing‘s coverage of TED 2009 includes this post about Tim Berners-Lee (he invented this here World Wide Web).  Turns out, people weren’t enamored with his creation early on.  Now he’s working on what is called the Semantic Web (it takes a little effort to figure out what that is, but it is very cool) and getting much the same reaction.  At its core, the Semantic Web means putting data on the web and then–very importantly–linking it together. Boing Boing’s Mark Frauenfelder:

Why is linked data important? Curing cancer, understanding economy, global warming. A lot of the state of the knowledge of human race is stored in databases that are not shared — stored in “silos.” Now they are linking the data, bridging across different disciplines. “When you connect data together you get this huge power out of it.”

The implications on health care, while not obvious at the moment, will be enormous.