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Are You Traveling at One Million Miles an Hour?

June 21, 2012
by Mark Hagland
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You might be surprised to know you are

While web-searching science-related articles recently, I came across a truly entertaining and thought-provoking blog from May 2009 with the irresistible headline, “I’m Not Just Sitting Here Being Lazy… I’m Traveling at 1,000,000 Miles Per Hour.” ( Now, who could pass by a headline like that and not want to dip in and read it?

Well, as the article explains, it turns out that there is a region of the universe called the “Great Attractor,” which is a region of space in the Centaurus Supercluster, which encompasses a mass tens of thousands of times greater than our own Milky Way galaxy. What scientists have discovered is that the Great Attractor has such a massive gravitational pull that it is pulling our entire galaxy and all of the nearby galaxies towards it at a speed of a million miles an hour. And here you just thought you were lounging on your couch watching a college basketball game, right?

As the science blog Washington’s Blog points out, “We don’t feel any movement because everything on Earth and in our galaxy is moving at the same  speed. In other words, we don’t feel the movement for the same reason that we don’t feel the Earth rotate: everything around us is rotating at the same time.” And the author adds humorously, “So don’t call me lazy…I’m moving at a million miles per hour.”

I know for a fact that many of our magazine’s readers feel they’re currently moving at the rate of a million miles per hour, given all the mandates and obligations they’re facing right now, as well as the pace of change that’s overtaken the entire industry.

In fact, new developments are taking place at a mind-numbing rate these days in healthcare, leading even the most driven CIOs, CMIOs, and other healthcare leaders to feel overwhelmed at times. And sometimes, it all feels too much. But if one steps back a bit, one can see many good things happening. And one of the very positive overall developments is  the current acceleration in innovation on the part of healthcare IT vendors, whose executives and developers are creating new IT solutions and applications and improving existing ones, at quite a dramatic pace. These vendors are responding to many elements in their environment, from federal policy mandates around healthcare reform and the meaningful use process, to demands from provider organizations for smarter, better solutions for their clinicians and staffs, to pure capitalist growth opportunities.

What I find particularly interesting and encouraging is the degree to which these healthcare IT innovations are being developed by vendor companies of all sizes, shapes, and types, from industry-giant behemoths to very modest startups armed with a few smart people and one or more very smart ideas.

We at Healthcare Informatics are of course committed to covering innovations coming from every type of vendor organization, from the largest to the smallest. In that regard, we’re proud, as always, to present to our readers our annual Healthcare Informatics 100, the uniquely authoritative compendium of healthcare IT vendors by revenue that we publish every year. And we’re also once again delighted to share with our readers the stories of several “Up and Comers,” smaller vendor organizations that are making waves for their innovations and growing success, as well as our three annual “Most Interesting Vendors” feature stories.

Along with all of our other important features and department stories this issue, we hope you will especially enjoy and benefit from our Healthcare Informatics 100. Happy reading!

Mark Hagland