We won't know for sure for several years, until the federal government has spent all those billions of dollars supporting EMRs, but the health IT portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act seems, at least so far, to be spurring innovation in the area of health information exchange.
Writing on the Trusted.MD blog network, clinical psychologist and software developer Dr. Steve Beller describes a decentralized, peer-to-peer network as a low-cost, secure means of exchanging patient data between organizations. "This novel technology--which includes an optional proprietary [patented] component--connects all parties in a way similar to the telephone system," he writes. "It operates cost-effectively even when bandwidth is low and connectivity is intermittent regardless of available bandwidth, transmits comprehensive health data in the most efficient way possible, fosters collaboration among loosely individuals and organizations in coupled professional and social networks, and promotes the dissemination of ever-evolving knowledge providing evidence-based decision support that continually improves outcomes and lowers costs for greater healthcare value."
Unfortunately, the diagram he uses to illustrate his concept is restricted to registered members of an online forum.
Meanwhile, in the vendor community, HIE software company Medicity is opening its iNexx platform to third-party application developers. "Although not a mobile phone platform itself, the iNexx model is perhaps best understood using the analogy of the iPhone platform. In both models, end users can choose and download unique applications that run on the platform architecture to create a composite solution customized to their needs," Medicity CEO Dr. Kipp Lasseter says in a company statement.
To learn more:
- check out Beller's blog post
- read the Medicity press release
- see this Orion Health press release about an HIE collaboration between the U.S. and New Zealand