Every January, JP Morgan conducts a world-class conference focusing on investment in healthcare. It’s an impressive gathering of investors, healthcare leaders and innovators, ranging from services to life sciences to information technology. Participation far exceeds those who actually attend the conference, since this gathering provides a great opportunity to network. It can be a very efficient, if exhausting, way to scan the overall environment and get a sense of what’s hot, what’s not and who’s investing in what.

Over the last decade, U.S. health care providers made enormous investments in electronic medical records (EMRs). Given the scale of this investment and the ever-increasing pressure to do more with less, many have pursued a strategy of widely deploying a single, uniform EMR and leveraging it for as many uses as possible. It’s a logical and sound strategy as far as it goes, but it only goes so far.