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
Confluence of Technologies
Medical records fall in a confluence of technologies that all advancing fast in 2008
- Mobile Devices
- Audit Trails
- Medical Device Interfacing
GE Healthcare’s Centricity
GE Centricity EMR(Electronic Medical Record)
Microsoft Health Vault
How Health Vault Works
Challenges Faced By Google Health
Capitol Valley blogger says Google Health is frightening,
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.