Friday, August 29, 2008

XO Laptop, or One Laptop Per Child Project: An Extension Idea for a Sturdy Tool

I woke up at 4 a.m. thinking how great it one be to apply the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) XO Laptop ( to several ideas.
  1. Educating children on health: It already has education as a mission, but I wonder how much of that is devoted to evidence-based health education practices? It uses gaming too, so it could also be adopted by groups such as Games for Health ( And, projects such as Re-Mission ( could be a model for how it teaches children compliance and self-care with other diseases.
  2. Medication Tracking and Compliance: In the US and other country rural areas, it could have something similar to the My-Medi-Health project, which aims to investigate and research methods for improving compliance among children. What about a module within it that has a personal health record? Or even one which encourages the child to document vital signs, medications, and treatments and then can beam it back to a provider's computer in the clinic? (
  3. A Remote Healthcare Provider Computer: This computer has incredible potential for remote areas for having a more robust electronic medical record. It could act as a repository for data until the healthcare provider could get back to a central computer and then, using its wireless abilities, beam them back into the main database (sync them up).
  4. Home Health Care for Rural Areas: As above, especially with nursing modules it could bring about cheaper care and bedside documentation for nurses in the field.
  5. Disaster Relief Use: What about developing a special model of this very durable PC for use in mass casualty disaster situations? Especially since it comes with a hand crank, and after disasters we often don't have battery and networking capabilities, note that it has a hand-crank to recharge and it has wireless social networking software built in. So, it could not only tell you where other healthcare providers are in the command zone, but share information on triage and treatment. Just a little retweaking of the system and it's ideal... especially because it is designed specifically for sturdiness, including water and sandproof and dropping and so on...
  6. Transcultural Care: The team using it are experts at symbolization and crossing language barriers. They could help develop a universal standard, or even several language algorithms, for helping international aid workers work together in mass casualty.
  7. Special Needs Children: I wonder how well it would work for autistic children and others within that spectrum, especially combined with
  8. Accessories: Could other equipment be developed to accompany it? For instance, a Wii Fit board to measure weight in the field, or something sturdier and just as cheap (the board itself is $87 retail or so bought directly, not through marked-up online vendors). Or, blood glucose monitoring devices and such? A blood pressure cuff?
  9. Field Database: Could a more remote version be created for use as field command centers? Even have database server versions, using the peer-to-peer wireless, to collect data? Not just for mass casualties, but healthcare in remote areas? Again, a sturdier, server version, but bring it back to the main computer and sync it up, perhaps in a healthcare truck, van, airplain, or helicopter or such? Valued data could be used for research, health care improvement, disease tracking, and even fundraising. Think of the value to groups like the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The CDC could really benefit from point-of-impact data collection.

What would it take to raise the money for it? Could the XO team help raise the money to form a separate group to investigate using it this way? Maybe even the Vanderbilt School of Nursing faculty and staff could be involved and find grants to make this happen? Maybe a research project for a grad student or two? Are there others who are interested in seeing this happen? Is it visionary?

Just some thoughts. Thanks for listening! - Richard Aries, MSN, RN, EMT

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Clinical Engineering and IT Collaboration

In February 2008, leaders of the Association for the Advancement of Medical
Instrumentation (AAMI), the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE), and
the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) joined forces to develop the Clinical Engineering/IT (CE-IT) community.

By pooling our resources and expertise, the CE-IT Community is dedicated

  • Fostering development of a united voice for IT and clinical engineering
    concerns and a forum for its expression
  • Providing a mechanism for developing resources, guidelines, and best
    practices for the CE-IT community
  • Exploring appropriate collaboration of clinical engineering/IT functions
  • Developing a framework for representing the interests of clinical engineering and IT departments to the broader healthcare community


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Thursday, January 10, 2008

28 questions in the Data Sharing Review

In October 2007 the UKs Prime Minister has asked Dr Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, and Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, to conduct a review of the framework for the use of information in the private and public sector.

There have just published, on the Justice Ministry web site the 28 questions they wish to gain public and expert views on.

The terms of reference are to:
* consider whether there should be any changes to the way the Data Protection Act 1998 operates in the UK and the options for implementing any such changes
* provide recommendations on the powers and sanctions available to the regulator and courts in the legislation governing data sharing and data protection
* provide recommendations on how data-sharing policy should be developed in a way that ensures proper transparency, scrutiny and accountability

I think this is an important area for public debate and development and shouldn't just be a knee jerk reaction to recent high profile data losses. I would encourage everyone with an interest to participate.

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Saturday, September 29, 2001

Oh! This is an interesting group! Sent to me by Dr. Shelagh Mulvaney:

The starting page states:

  • The Center for Cell Phone Applications in Healthcare (C-PAHC) is Medical Records Institute’s platform for studying and advocating the development and adoption of cell phone technologies for use in healthcare.
  • C-PAHC is a membership-based organization that envisions the development of a wide range of healthcare applications for mobile phones, smart phones, and PDAs and explores current and developing technologies and how they will impact the healthcare industry.
  • Many related standards and much collaboration are needed, so C-PAHC will act as a clearinghouse and collaboration center in regard to cell phone technologies in healthcare.
  • The upcoming TEPR+ 2009 conference (February 1-5, Palm Springs, CA) will be the main meeting point for developers, users, vendors, carriers, and the healthcare community at large.

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