It's not often an FT headline makes me laugh, but this one did - feels like someone must have been saving it up for a while
"3i Group battered as liquidity crisis sinks fish importer"
Microsoft also announced Thursday that Outlook for Mac would allow importing of .PST files from Outlook for Windows, which it said was one of the top requests from customers. The new Outlook will also allow Spotlight search and backup support from Time Machine.
Today, February 8th, would have been Ian Cheewah's 45th birthday. Sadly he didn't live to see this one, passing away three short weeks ago. Ian was a true and dear friend for many years. His friends, colleagues, customers and suppliers gathered for a memorial service last Thursday. I met Ian many years ago. We worked together, we spent time together, we worked together and so on. I was honoured to have had the chance to say a few words at his memorial service:… 2010 wasn't supposed to start like this
Before there was an NHS IT programme (later called NPfIT) I met a company called Zmedix in the USA. They had a big idea to digitise the patient diagnostic process. Their thinking was that a doctor needs to know about 2 million potential end points when diagnosing a patient and that in the typical 15 minutes spent with a patient, they'd never get through even a fraction of those possibilities - hence why, they theorised, doctors often sent people away for tests and more tests so as to provide more data and narrow the range. So they developed a product that asked patients lots of questions, starting very generally and then gradually narrowing based on the responses, trying to eliminate a lot of the noise and give the doctor a fighting chance of finding what was really wrong.
When we looked at this idea in the OeE, we wondered if we could use it to short circuit the digitisation of patient records - i.e. when a patient was sitting in the waiting room, give them a tablet PC with the Zmedix code on it (wrapped in a nice presentation layer) and have the patient complete the questions. We figured it would take 20 minutes. We thought that if we figured out a reasonably generic XML file format, we'd then be able to store this patient information and later (possibly much later) upload it into whatever the NHS decided would be their national patient record system (what eventually became the spine). Rather than try and digitise paper records, or upload existing (likely out of date or incorrect) records, we thought this might be a way to get some really good data much faster than we might otherwise get it.
We pitched this idea to those involved in NHS IT but they were frying bigger fish and it probably didn't fit with what they were thinking about. Zmedix look to have disappeared since - their domain name is gone and there seems little trace of their work on the web.
But, what if we could restart that idea ... and use an iPad as the input device. Less threatening perhaps than a tablet with a pen - a lean back way of doing health records rather than the PC-centric lean forward?
We'd still need the Zmedix engine, or one like it but we could wrap it in a much simpler layer - perhaps with pictures and videos that would encourage patients to complete it fully ... although not necessarily in one session of course, they could do it in stages, a bit before each visit.
It seems to me that the iPad - far more than previous iterations of the tablet PC - will likely encourage far more thinking about how to deploy consumer facing applications for front line government services. Why? Because:
I'd love to see this idea come back to life.