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EDITOR'S NOTE: The all-important Web

Prairie Business stories are labeled according to industry – “Health care,” “Higher education,” “Banking & finance” and so on. But this month – as happens many months – I’m tempted to add to these labels three more words:

Health care and the Internet.

Higher education and the Internet.

Banking & finance and the Internet.

The Internet’s impact on these industries simply can’t be overstated. For as the stories in this issue show, the biggest and most important trends affecting those fields all are rooted in the Web.

In health care, hospitals and clinics increasingly are sending patients home with wearable devices – medical technology that is not only portable, but also Internet compatible, meaning the device’s data can become a part of the patient’s medical record.

Online courses and degree programs in higher education now enroll nearly half of the students on some local campuses. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more dramatic change on those campuses over the past 10 years.

And one of these days in banking & finance, that ATM card in your wallet will go the way of the slide rule, as the card’s function – like the slide rule’s function, for that matter – will be taken over by your smart phone.

On these and other developments, companies in our region are not only keeping pace, they’re leading the way. The Dakotas and western Minnesota are “backwaters” no longer – a historic development that also stems in some large part from the Internet.

Good reading,

Tom Dennis          

I welcome your feedback and story ideas. Call me at 701-780-1276 or email me at