29 February 2008

Medical Records. The Final Frontier?

In 1922 Henry Ford wrote in My Life and Work
I believe that the average farmer puts to a really useful purpose only about 5%. of the energy he expends.... Not only is everything done by hand, but seldom is a thought given to a logical arrangement. A farmer doing his chores will walk up and down a rickety ladder a dozen times. He will carry water for years instead of putting in a few lengths of pipe. His whole idea, when there is extra work to do, is to hire extra men. He thinks of putting money into improvements as an expense.... It is waste motion— waste effort— that makes farm prices high and profits low.

Anyone who works in a modern office and has visited a medical practice or hospital in the USA in the last 5 years realizes how medical records have failed to keep up with office technology. Paper records are maintained in each hospital and practice. Medical record adminstration may have kept up with Henry Ford's dictates on efficiency in 1922 and even up to the 1960s but since then they have lagged.

Of course software developers and executives have known this for years and software companies have developed products for medical record administration including the biggest software companies.

The Gold Rush has Started
Steven Levy's Newsweek article on online medical records explained how Microsoft
and Google have created products for storing and organizing people's medical information. Both these giant companies are difficult to compete with but medical records is a large area and it is interesting to explore the opportunities of working with or around the giants. So we end up selling shovels to the goldminers.

Selling Shovels to the Gold Miners
The questions we need to ask are

  • What are the potential 'shovels'?
  • Can we make them better or cheaper than our competitors?
  • What are the marketing channels?

  • Confluence of Technologies
    Medical records fall in a confluence of technologies that all advancing fast in 2008
    • Storage
    • Mobile Devices
    • Security
    • Tracibility
    • Audit Trails
    • Medical Device Interfacing
    Examples of Companies Working in this Field
    GE Healthcare’s Centricity
    GE Centricity EMR(Electronic Medical Record)

    Microsoft Health Vault
    How Health Vault Works
    Google Health
    Challenges Faced By Google Health
    Capitol Valley blogger says Google Health is frightening,

    Revolution Health.com
    revolutionhealth.com traffic

    ihealthrecord.org traffic

    Medem iHealth provides a standards-based, secure personal health record (PHR) available via the Internet, under the control of the patient and able to accept information from and transmit to EHR, health plan, pharmacy and other systems.
    medem.com traffic

    Further Reading



    Peter Williams said...

    Microsoft Amalga

    Peter Williams said...




    Peter Williams said...


    Chip said...

    "To improve the quality of our health care while lowering its costs, we will make the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America's medical records are computerized……This will cut waste, eliminate red tape and reduce the need to repeat expensive medical tests. But it just won't save billions of dollars and thousands of jobs, it will save lives by reducing the deadly but preventable medical errors that pervade our health care system."

    --President Elect, Barack Obama, January 8th, 2009

    Phil said...

    VistA, the public record EHR and hospital management software created by the Veterans Administration, is once again an open source movement with word that DSS, its biggest commercial licenser, is switching to the Eclipse Public License.

    This is bigger than Texas. Well done!

    Peter Williams said...

    CSIRO are taking a distributed approach.