Hospital IT Opportunities

Robert Scoble writes:

People ask me what the software industry’s future is. All I do is look around this hospital room (which is in one of the richest hospitals in the world) and I see tons of opportunities.

The patient’s chart, for instance, is all paper and hand-done. How many inefficiencies (and opportunities for mistakes) are there there? Tons.

Then I look at the machines hooked up here. There’s a blood transfusion device. An IV device. An oxygen monitor. A heart-rate monitor. None of these machines talk with each other. None report back to the patient’s chart. After all, how could they? That’s all paper stored in a binder by the door of the room.

The whole wing runs by nurses who visit every 20 minutes or so. They manually check on the patients. First they check the chart to see what is prescribed for each patient.

In every place I see inefficiencies. Things that could be improved with better technologies. Opportunities for mistakes that could be removed.

I see all sorts of opportunities to make medical care both more personal as well as remove risk of malpractice lawsuits. Each medical chart should have attached to it 24-hour video of the patient’s care so that it can be verified later on whether the patient really received proper care. That alone would reduce lawsuits and cost.

A second post adds:

While I’m at it, why don’t hospitals have videoconferencing systems where the doctor can check in visually on a patient? Hospitals are becoming so large that getting from one side of the hospital to another can take 10 minutes. The person I’m with doesn’t need to see the surgeon anymore, but he has been up here five times so far. He’s the best in the nation, and that personal touch is a big part of why he’s so highly regarded. But, he could check in even more often if there were a plasma screen up and a video camera.

Not to mention: the best thing for a patient to have here would be video that we could use with our friends and family outside. I’d pay $20 a day just to have access to an IP-based videophone that’d work with Skype and MSN Messenger.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.