Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Start Using RSS for Health/Medical Alerts and Data Sharing

Start Using RSS for Health/Medical Alerts and Data Sharing: "RSS is a wonderful solution to the 'how do we tell everyone we have new stuff without sending out a bunch of e-mails?' problem. Although it's quite popular for syndicating content such as news, blog articles, and related information, I think RSS has a chance to make a huge impact on healthcare and medical data sharing as well.
Today medical devices send out alerts using one or more mechanisms in a 'push-based' approach. For example, the device manufacturer has to write software to send alerts via e-mail, pager, phone, etc., whenever some programmed action occurs in the device. In the health-IT world, data sharing occurs through HL7 in a hub-and-spoke or publish/scribe model where all information is published to a broker and that broker is queried for things such as new lab results, updated patient information, etc.Well, what if all medical devices had the ability to respond to RSS requests on various channels? For critical messages, the push method would be fine, but for other kinds of messages, we could have a channel that an IT system could poll every second, minute, or over many hours depending on how often the system wanted an update from a device. Instead of all the devices always sending out all messages, why not put in some simple code to respond to RSS requests and separate the different message types into RSS channels? This way, the pull-based approach allows the device to be more responsive to each client instead of having to use a broker model to send out all messages."
Here's a clever use of a commonly used technology !

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