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How the Ipad is Changing Medicine-Apple Endorsement from Dr. Halamka At Harvard Medical With Real Time Applications and User Inf

Posted Mar 03 2011 2:10pm

When you stop and think about endorsements I feel this one is important, why?  Dr. Halamka is not only a doctor but also a computer science expert, so there’s a lot of knowledge rolled into one person, not to mention the ability he has to talk and share image his knowledge and ideas with all.  Bill Gates said last year in a talk at Berkeley that the folks who are the “hybrids” in technology are going to be the most sought after individuals and he’s right and the good doctor is right up there.  In his blog he gets out there, hands on, as well as doctors and other staff members and puts it to the test.  This is good as what we get here is “real” information beyond a “proof of concept” and that’s what we want today. 

If you go back to read what happened in 2010, you can read about the one MD at the hospital who put it to the test back April.   The link is from Dr. Halamka’s blog which he keeps updated with “cool technologies”  A few months later, he adds more input from one of the hospitalists.  A couple weeks later, a nice question and answer post on the blog about the Ipad.  A couple weeks ago, yet one more post on how to secure an Ipad and Iphone was added.  Within only a couple days they had figured out how to use Log Me In for an immediate connection and it went upwards from there. 

You just don’t get this type of quality information anywhere else on the web, and I pretty much try to scour and find all the helpful information I can on the web to do this blog.  A while back when things were much simpler and still communicated on the desktop I wrote a medical records system and given that, I have a ton of appreciation for all the data work that goes into the pursuit of  medical records that can talk and communicate with each other and the amount of work and coding that enters into the picture.  image

I don’t write code any longer, but it certainly serves to give me a huge appreciation and understanding of what goes into the processes and thus you see a little different focus here as I’ve been on both sides a bit with working with MDs as partners.  Sometimes the way I visualized a solution and the way it was used were two different perceptions and then came the meeting of the minds.  I was not always right and so back the code drawing board for the next revision, again with input from the doctors on how it would work for them and using what skills I had to try and make it happen.  This is where the good doctor has all of this rolled into one person, phenomenal and rare, but so valuable! 

Sometimes folks in IT make it look easier than it is at times and yes we are guilty there but there’s a good reason for that and it is due to the fact that we want the best and easiest user interfaces so everyone doesn’t have to become a high powered user to participate. 

You can watch the video below from Apple and about half way through you can hear the presentation from Dr. Halamka with real life experiences and his work to make it happen.  Again, this is what we want and not just proof of concept-we want the real stuff! 

In the changing world of technology we work in today, there’s not one company that has all the answers, especially true in Health IT, and knowing how to play in the sandbox and combine for ultimate solutions is where it’s at.  I use both Apple and Microsoft technologies (this post being done on an IMAC that happens to be running Windows right now).  I like both and they can all work together, collaboration at it’s best. 

I think the dual core processor, which was created in house by Apple is huge as with more cores to run programs we see more image power and I do reflect back to when Intel introduced theirs as I was doing some training for them at the time and dual cores make a difference with more cache and memory disambiguation; ok enough tech talk on silicon.   Certainly Apple has their relationship with Intel as well but back to basics here we need to look at what makes a total solution.  When you stop and think that other than Apple, Microsoft is the #2 producer of software for Apple, well that brings to mind collaboration once more, so the 2 do work together and I like all of it.  I have been a tablet pc person since day one but I look for the best solutions as well and thus I hopefully create some honest opinions here too.  All geeks are consumers too. 

None of us know what’s going to show up tomorrow when it comes to technology but I think it’s important to keep an open mind and oh yes, be curious.  Once you have a high level of curiosity, then education flourishes. As the video mentions, Apple said they found people using the IPad in areas they had not even thought about, and I think the healthcare movement in how it has been adapted was a bit of a surprise element there too. In summary, hats off to Dr. Halamka  for keeping us informed and satisfying our “curious” minds and you can almost bet there will lots more to come as Ipad2 gets put to the task.  BD 

About 12 minutes in, after an establishing shot of the sign for the BIDMC’s West Campus, John says:

“Sometimes doctors are overwhelmed with data. What we’ve tried to do on the iPad is to give doctors at the point of care the tools they need at the exact moment the doctor can make the difference.”

“We’re finding with the iPad that doctors are spending more time with patients. In fact, doctors are engaging patients by showing them images, showing them data on the screen. So it’s empowered doctors to be more productive, and it’s also brought doctors and patients together.”

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