Sunday, August 23, 2009

More and Better Links

Plugging In

I am at the moment marveling at an order of magnitude improvement in information flow. Not only volume, but also the tools to filter, route, search, organize, and share.

So here's a few links of interest coming through the feeds lately.

TWEET IDEAS: 13 Things to Do on Twitter Besides Tweet

Personal Health Records - Who are the key PHR providers and how are they handling lab results?

Soon we will all be e-Patients

Me, I'm working at one of those HIEs beginning to link patients directly to their own health data.

While the government attempts to pave the way for a national health information network.

So we can all have our own Personal Health Records (PHR).

A view from inside the HealthVault — Reviving The Health Revolution
The whole world is interested in this:

From Twitter, I got a report from iHealthBeat on the use of Twitter in Healthcare.

Also, a discussion of social media in healthcare.

And that's just the past few weeks. How about a medical wiki like Medpedia?

Speaking of wikis, try the Knowledge Mobilization Works Wiki / Wiki101

Not to mention the reference manuals, I'm a JEE/SOA type guy, so...

That's enough for now. I expect we will all get better at managing information, channel it from many sources into the most useful format we can manage. As the tools improve so does my skill at using them.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on Facebook

It looks like people are busy recreating their old haunts online, and the whole gang is showing up.

I've been finding pages like the Dead Cafe Poet's Society dedicated to the gone-but-not-forgotten Las Vegas coffee house scene (yes such a thing did exist), and a group called Las Vegas Alternative Scene: the 1990s which is really just a collection of people who used to hang out in places like the Enigma, Cafe Copioh, Double Down Saloon, and the KUNV DJ booth. I'm looking through photos, finding old familiar faces, and clicking on them. I am literally getting in touch with people through a picture.

High School? Yeah, we got 'em. Ever re-connect with people by clicking on a 4th grade class photo? In true social network style, you connect with one old friend, look through their friends and photos, and pretty soon the gang's all here.

Before you know it, this will seem normal. Staying in touch will be the default, and all our friendships will last a lifetime. If it's not facebook, it will be something else, but the technology is proven to work.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What a PHR Should Never Do

What would you do if you discovered a company you never heard of had access to your medical records? Well, if you were at the Googleplex up all night coding, you might be furiously tweeting and calling everyone on the Google Health team you can think of saying WTF. Second, you would listen to the voice at the next laptop over saying DON'T PANIC because there has to be a good explanation.

And there is, sort of.

Turns out, the system wasn't hacked, nothing was stolen, but this is still a big issue. According to HIPAA standards you must explicitly give people access to your records for a limited amount of time. You must "opt in" to every application. There's this one application, which operates on an "opt out" basis. So you install an iPhone app, sign in to your GHealth account, and voila! Your records are linked to an affiliated web application you did not install.

Bad, bad, bad.

This is exactly the fear expressed when PHRs first came on the scene, and it didn't help when Google adds to their sales pitch that btw, since we're not a healthcare organization we're not really bound by HIPAA.

Technically this is not a violation by GH, but they could make some simple changes to force explicit permission for any account linking. Allowing this implicint linking is just not acceptable. The good news is they are working on a fix.

I have plenty of complaints about GH but... BUT... they are the ONLY PHR which has a public API to encourage and foster innovation, so I'm grateful for that. Everyone working on PHR applictions in the open-source community is grateful, and face it, PHRs are so new, we need all the crowdsourcing we can get. Upcoming FOSS applications like ChiefMedicalOfficer, Health Wave, and Patient Aware Wave demoed this past weekend are proof of the value in that.

Google has been, and continues to be very responsive to the developer community. That's good news on the Don't Be Evil front.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I Am Become Cliche

I drive my Audi hatchback down the exit marked "Downtown San Jose" and a sign showing NASDAQ's current value greets me. I have a Daffy Duck kooshball for my desk and a flying spaghetti monster on my car. How did it come to this.