Health IT: Standards, Social Media, Micro Screens

Posted on Tue, Feb 02, 2010 – 06:34 am at |

This post is an attempt to gather feedback in order to interact with and better inform our readers. First, some background: I became a blogger because I’m a buttinski. My schooling placed an emphasis on organizational communication and most of my day-to-day work has involved using Web-based tools to help firms with internal knowledge management challenges. This has produced an eye toward a systems view to problem solving–and an inkling that folks in certain sectors, for example, healthcare IT, were talking past one another as they were creating solutions.

Previously, it seemed that the various standards bodies were not building upon one another’s work. That approach has changed and that collaboration has been brought to the fore (see caBIG, CCHIT, Connect, Connecting For Health, Continuity of Care Record (CCR), DICOM, Dossia, HITSP, HL7-OMG’s HSSP, ICD, IHE, SNOMED, etc.). I created blogs rather than inundate email boxes with notices of the latest and greatest–later I created some groups and adopted Delicious and Diigo. It slowly occurred to me that social media was becoming a driving force in how healthcare IT was evolving.

It was also dawning on me that many of these tools are optimized for desktop interfaces in a world rapidly moving toward handhelds, or at least, those devices which possess smaller screen real estate. Microblogging tools (, Jaiku, Twitter) have gotten all the press and do work well there but the workhorses of collaboration have been portals (whether Alfresco, Drupal, Google Sites, Mediawiki, Sharepoint, Wikispaces–what have you) usually with some search, taxonomy, and RSS feature built in.

The functional test of these tools today is–how well do they work on a Blackberry, iPad, iPhone, or smartphone?–not to review documents via email, but to produce, manipulate and post them. This question is now the mental unit test I run against every technology as I strategize where it might fit in the panoply of offerings which will be thrown against the organized chaos which is healthcare IT.

As a member of the HIMSS Medical Banking Project, health-wealth portals are my prime target. I would expect that products like PNC Bank’s P2P mobile transfers will gain adoption over time. It seems strange to me, given all the handhelds with cameras, that mobile remote data capture (Check 21) has not taken off; or has it? Will tools like Wells Fargo’s CEO Mobile service find a place in healthcare? Although the fate of healthcare savings accounts will be determined within the national political healthcare reform discourse, should HSAs survive, how will providers be impacted by the nowism likes of Blippy? What other trends are you seeing? Let us know (@mhealthwatch or @ed_dodds).