Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

PC Connection presentation

Well, I had the chance to present to a few dozen Healthcare IT professionals in Nashua yesterday. It was interesting. I used some slides that I had originally used at CHIME in a workshop. It was a quiet group.

One hospital in CT had just bought a GE application and Lefthand Network storage.

I spend about 45 minutes discussing the Digital Hospital infrastructure, industry trends and overview of HP blades and storage. While the audience was quiet, I did get some folks after the presentation thank me for the presentation and its content.

I was surprised to see that PC Connection had a dedicated group focused on Healthcare.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Patient information everywhere, what to do with it all?

It was about five years ago, presenting on Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) when I first suggested that all the patient information at a large hospital is just one big clinical trial. At the end of the session, one audience member from a large teaching hospital said that he agreed and that is why they did not destroy any patient data. Unfortunately, I do not know of a provider which is taking advantage of this wealth of information today. Now, this is not a big deal since the data is being used for its intended purpose to treat patients. It does seem to be a lost opportunity.

It is particularly problematic given the growth in clinical data. Growth, it is becoming an explosion; digital X-rays, MRIs, retinal scans, DNA sequencing, digitize pathology samples…. It is a good thing Hewlett Packard makes large storage arrays. Did I mention that I work at Hewlett Packard? Our ExDS can scale to almost 1 PB less than $2/GB. I have spoken to some Hospitals who are exceeding ½ PB of storage today.

So what is keeping us from using all this data for the collective good? Simple matter of money in my book. What? How can increase the value of the information? Maybe the answer is DNA sequencing. Once the cost of sequencing gets driven down so that we can all afford the test, there may be an opportunity.

At one of the Hewlett Packard Healthcare Symposiums, I once heard someone suggest that the 21st century is the century of personalized medicine. Personalized medicine in the sense that we a know sequence, a clinician will be able to customize the treatment to a patient with a little help from the Pharmaceutical companies. Boutique drugs, personalized to your sequence. Now, there is where the money is, as well as the savings. Savings? Yea. I heard that less than half prescriptions written are not effective for the patient. If a clinician could avoid these prescriptions, and always had their prescriptions be effective, sure that is a big savings, as well as better patient care.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The storm cloud.

Cloud computing, it’s nebulous, or maybe cumulus nimbus. No matter who you ask, you will get a slightly different answer. Always a similar theme, but slightly different. Personally, I think it is one of those trends, like recessions, which you don’t know it’s here until you are well into it.
If I look at the current situation, there are tell tale signs like SaaS and Is an ISP’s email offering or a Snapfish photo hosting service cloud computing? Sure.

Many of the Healthcare software providers already deliver their solutions via a hosting model, like Cerner, Iron Mountain, Philips, and GE Healthcare. Are they cloud computing? In my book they are. So what are we expecting to happen to declare that we are officially in a cloud, darn if I know? What is the internet if not a cloud? Let’s proclaim victory and move on to Galactic computing or nuro-computing or whatever the next trend is.

Well maybe we have to let go of our personal generators or personal wells to allow the cloud or utility computing become a reality. Why is it that we trust Ma Bell but not our computer networks? Reliability? I don’t think so? Think cell phone coverage and reliability. Convenience? Maybe. I AM typing this on a plane, can’t do that on the net yet!

In my book, it really does not matter, it like cutting, just pick the right knife for the job. The one which gets it done the way it needs to be done. There are clouds and there is rain and snow, and rivers and streams. They are all water.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Healthcare IT and the Cloud

For those of you who may not know, I work at HP. I focus on Software Alliances in several areas including Healthcare. I have worked with healthcare providers on and off for over 30 years, from designing medical equipment, to clinical trials, to integration of HP infrastructure with many Software partners.

Lately, I keep hearing people asking about the latest buzz word in computing "cloud". For some of us who endured life before PCs and timesharing, we realize that cloud computing sounds new and wonderful like but has many similarities to Timesharing. Let me see, many people tied into a hosting provider. One site providing computing to many organizations on a as needed capacity basis. You get the idea. From my view it is just one of the options which a provider has which is no different than any manufacturer deciding on a MAKE vs BUY choice.

Or for a facility to decide on a back up generator vs depending on the power utility.

So how do you decide? I think one has to ask several questions.

1. Can you use standard hardware and software?
2. Can the cloud vendor provide the quality of service needs of my organization?
3. Can my organization's data reside in the cloud ( wherever that is).
4. How do the costs compare. Real costs, no cheating.
5. Can the cloud comply with my orgainzations governance requirements?
6. Do I have the confidence that the vendor has staying power needed in a downturn?

I am sure there are others but lets start with these for now..

Let me know your thoughts.