Monthly Archive for April, 2008

100 Open Source Software Tools for Medical Professionals

I mentioned an Open Source Medical Software list before. Here’s yet another list:

The Top 100 Open Source Software Tools for Medical Professionals

The contents of this one provide a broader selection of functionality. Annotated lists like these are a great resource.

Hat tip: The Healthcare IT Guy

The Joy of Short-term Memory

The New York Times had a couple of articles over the last few days that deal with short-term memory loss.

Le sommeil, Salvador Dali (1937)

David Brooks’ 11-Apr-08 commentary called The Great Forgetting summarizes the Bad Memory Century best with:

In the era of an aging population, memory is the new sex.

In addition to taxes and death, aging is something that none of us can avoid. I was born in the later part of the baby boom, so over the last few years I have become acutely aware of these short-term memory challenges. Remembering to write down thoughts and lists has become essential. And I’m still young, relatively speaking anyway. Like the other inevitables, you never think it’s going to happen to you. But it does!

The 13-Apr-08 Sunday Magazine’s Idea Lab Total Recall speculates about embedding a computer chip in the brain in order to improve short-term memory. I know that short-term memory loss is a problem, but who would have guessed that “sky divers have been known to forget to pull their ripcords — accounting, by one estimate, for approximately 6 percent of sky-diving fatalities.” !!

Interestingly, the brain is a particularly effective associative memory system:

…, studies suggest that if you learn a word while you happen to be slouching, you’ll be better able to remember that word at a later time if you are slouching than if you happen to be standing upright.

Neural prosthetics are a long way off (see here), but the concept of embedding a Google search engine in your brain is certainly intriguing — and scary to most.

In the mean time, you can follow the suggestions in How to Cope With Short Term Memory Problems.

Health 2.0 — User Generated Healthcare

This presentation (pdf) was given by Matthew Holt at the MS-HUG Tech Forum, Feb. 24, at HIMSS08 in Orlando (all presentations are here).

There are many informative slides that cover EMR adoption, consumer health demographics, the progression of IT, Web 2.0, and a definition of Health 2.0:

Health 2.0 — Holt’s best guess at the constituent parts

It’s too bad there’s not a video available of the presentation. I’d love to hear a full explanation of the Mongolian Marxists and their relationship to healthcare IT.

There are five slides on PatientsLikeMe. This site and many of the related issues are well covered in the New York Times Magazine article last month called Practicing Patients.

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