Google CEO unveils Google Health

HIMSS 2008 (Orlando) is indeed churning out lots of interesting updates 🙂

If you noticed, I didn’t really blog much on HIMSS 2008, this is mainly due to 2 reasons;

  1. The HIMSS08 Online Daily provides rather comprehensive updates on the daily ongoings
    (no point reposting just for the sake of blogging)
  2. I’m not there at HIMSS 2008
    (but I’m doing my part here, contributing to the industry by trying to ‘raise the bar’)

But this is something I would like to mention – Google CEO unveils Google Health at HIMSS 2008.



I think I have found a perfect topic for a Phd thesis : E-iatrogenesis.

“E-iatrogenesis,” is widely used to describe the unintended consequences generated by HIT systems and how they impact workflow and affect quality.

One of my pet interest is the Social – Technical aspect of how IT improves the quality of healthcare and examining E-iatrogenesis can help one in that matter (to quote Sun Tzu’s The Art of War – “if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will fight without danger in battles“)

Anyway, I chanced upon the term here, check it out.

Project management offices offer planning expertise

I must be hitting my buttons right (I reckon its about time to polish up the resume of mine).

“When healthcare executives complain IT projects are failing; absence of a defined, uniform and enforced project management process is the likely cause,” said Robert Case. (Did you know I’m a certified IT Project Manager?)

This article touches on an importance aspect that is often ignored in implementing Healthcare Informatics solution, I embarked on authoring an article (I will resume on it sometime soon.. )examining the areas of improvement traditional modalities vendors must undertake in order become a true (and effective) Healthcare IT solutions company and one of the areas is Project Management.


IT collaboration enhances clinical engineering effectiveness

Kenneth Maddock, corporate director of biomedical technology services for the Baylor Healthcare System in Dallas shares the same sentiments with me on one particular issue. Biomedical Engineering Department and IT Departments should work hand in hand.

If you noticed (in my profile page) that I am a member of the local Biomedical Engineering Society and Computing Society (well I’m also a member of the Radiographers society and tons more but lets leave it as that), most of my peers found it extremely weird (and rare as I’m a full member of both), especially when I told them I used to give lectures to Biomedical Engineers on Healthcare Informatics.


Kolodner: Health IT is not a magic bullet; needs help and personal perspective

“The future of healthcare is the delivery of care—better health (prevention rather than responding after onset of a chronic condition), coordinated care (barriers to care at multiple sites eliminated), convenient care (widespread telecare and telemonitoring) and increased self care”

“My point is that [a transformation] can be done in healthcare, and the only way to succeed is to work together to figure out what we need to do to improve quality care and the healthcare continuum” 

Now these aren’t my quotes, they are words of wisdom by Robert M. Kolodner, MD, national coordinator, Office for the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. While one might seek to differ as it states the obvious, one should work in the Healthcare industry to gain a feel of what going on at the ground level.


Health informatics one of the ‘grand challenges’

It seems that the advancement of Health Informatics has been listed as one of the 21st century’s greatest challenges by a panel of leading engineers and scientists, such is the importance of Healthcare Informatics Evangelism 🙂 (Can someone give me a pat on the back?)

A panel of a group of leading (international) technological thinkers from the US National Academy of Engineering were asked to identify the Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century and Health Informatics is identified as one of the 14 ‘Grand Challenges in Engineering’.

The web portal provides avenue for input from from people around the world, make yourself heard, post your (constructive) suggestions at

Make a difference, change the world for the better.

Google, Cleveland Clinic partner for EHR pilot program

Check it out folks, the Cleveland Clinic is partnering with Google to launch a pilot program that will use Google’s new services to provide patients with greater control and access to medical records.

The pilot will test the secure exchange of patients’ medical record data, including prescriptions, conditions and allergies, between the clinic’s PHR and a secure Google profile in a live clinical delivery setting. The experience and lessons learned from design and use of the Cleveland Clinic PHR will hopefully help Google test facilities that will eventually allow all American patients to control who sees their medical information among various health service providers, without breaching their privacy.

Interestingly, by teaming up with the Google platform, the Cleveland Clinic is pioneering a ‘cost free’ solution for nationwide access to electronic medical records to both providers and users.


Healthcare reform must include IT issues

“Members of the Health IT Now Coalition and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) urged Congress to move ahead with health IT legislation such as the Promoting Health Information Technology Act. The bill would establish a public/private group to recommend health IT standards and certification and would budget US$163 million a year for health-care providers to adopt health IT products, such as electronic health records”

This particular quote from Nancy Johnson (co-chairwoman of the Health IT Now Coalition) somewhat ‘amuses me “Health technologies can help improve health-care quality, reduce costs and encourage changes in treatment”. While she is stating the obvious, it would seems to be that the general masses in the healthcare setting sees Healthcare Informatics as something not necessary – simply because they do not see the benefits of it (hence why this web portal exists).


Wal-Mart partners with hospitals to rapidly expand in-store clinics

USA: “Wal-Mart recently announced plans to partner with community hospitals across the country to open up 400 new retail clinics inside its stores by 2010, in addition to the 55 it already houses. Thirteen of those are owned and operated by hospital systems.”

I personally think its a great idea, in addition to being a ‘Hyper Mart’, one can now not only buy almost everything needed but also visit the Doctor while you are at it! I think its a neat idea, definitely brains at work for this one (don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying its without flaws but still, its a good idea)

More details on the article here.

Wi-Fi Lies

I chanced upon this great article at Enterprise Imaging by Jim McCarthy on the “top 10 myths on Wi-Fi deployment in a healthcare setting”. I always wanted to write an article on Wi-Fi in a hospital environment but never really got around writing it. As the article is pretty straight to the point, I’ll just show it here.

Myth #1: Wi-Fi transmissions can interfere with critical medical equipment
While Wi-Fi devices do transmit via RF signaling, they tend to operate with very low power and transmit intermittently, unlike mobile phones, for example, which have higher power levels and longer duration transmissions. Multiple studies have shown that Wi-Fi devices are safe in hospital settings and do not interfere with electronic medical equipment.

Myth #2: A consumer Wi-Fi system can be implemented in a health care setting
Organizations often fall into the trap of deploying inexpensive consumer Wi-Fi equipment in a professional environment. In most cases, the potential cost savings rarely outweighs the frustration that results from poor performance, security, management and scalability. Eventually, organizations recognize the need to invest in a Wi-Fi solution designed specifically for a health care environment.