Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Swine Flu Update: October 10

October 9, 2009

The H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine is starting to be distributed nationwide, and just in time, it seems. Pregnant women have been hit especially hard by this bug and they are one of the priority groups that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends receive the vaccine as soon as possible. Children are also being hit hard – 19 have died this week.

Do you have the Swine Flu? Microsoft and Emory University have teamed up to create an online Flu Quiz – answer a series of questions, and your computer will compare your answers to a list of known symptoms and then inform you of the possibility that you have the flu. I answered the questions last night and the computerized doctor told me I was OK! But if someone in your home does have the Flu, here is the CDC’s informational guide for taking care of them while hopefully avoiding catching it yourself.  (If you live with someone who has the Flu and you are in a high risk group, you need to stay six feet away from the patient. Sounds like a good time to hire a Home Health Nurse.)

There have been questions raised about the safety of the vaccine, and here is the CDC’s web page addressing those issues. Also, there has been no link shown between vaccine and Autism. There was a research report from England published 10 years ago that seemingly linked the Mumps, Measles, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine with increased occurrences of Autism; but further research call those results into question. Most of the authors of that original research have since said that their research didn’t seem to hold up.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have taken the vaccinations that have been recommended to me over the years, and there have been no side effects other than occasional soreness at the injection site. And with my heart defect, I feel that I would have been more suceptable to any adverse reaction.

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The Wave of the Future: EMRs

September 15, 2008

Got your EMR yet?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I mean Electronic Medical Record. Sometimes they are called EHRs, which is short for Electronic Health Record. (There is a link behind each title; read them both. They contain similar [but different] information, and both links are useful.)

It’s a good idea for a Congenital Heart Defect patient to have quick and easy access to their medical records, but pushing around a wheelbarrow is pretty impractical. If you have your medical records on a USB, computer disk, or even use MedicAlert, then you’re part of the EMR movement. (MedicAlert is sort of a hybrid, since you don’t physically carry your records with you. You wear the MedicAlert symbol, which gives you a telephone number you can call for quick access to your records.)

And then there is our old friend Google. You just had to know that Google was going to get into this game, and they have with their new portal, Google Health. But if Google is the 800 pound Gorilla in the room, then Microsoft is the 900 pound Gorilla. There can’t be two kings on the same throne, so you know they are going to fight.

Microsoft is packing a tremendous one-two punch: They are providing EMR software for hospitals and doctors – the people who actually generate the medical records – and they have introduced Microsoft HealthVault for patients. But this writer wasn’t that impressed with HealthVault. Being first isn’t always being being the best.

Another point to consider is that when two giants start fighting, the small people need to just get out of the way. Before these two are through trying to capture the EMR market, some small players in the business are going to get hurt. It always happens. So if you happen to be using an online service to store your medical records, you might want to consider your options.

But EMRs are the coming thing, and it looks like patients with a complicated medical history and a truckload of medical records are going to benefit the most. But we’ve got to be the people who test the system. That’s not a problem… we’re used to being medical trailblazers!