[PLUG-TALK] About the medical software you see in your physician's office

Rich Shepard rshepard at appl-ecosys.com
Sat Dec 22 06:02:48 PST 2018


On Fri, 21 Dec 2018, John Jason Jordan wrote:

> While reading the article I wondered how I would have fared during a
> surgical procedure a few days ago if the hospital had lost its net
> connection right after they had made a big hole in me. In fact, several
> years ago I was in a hospital undergoing a nerve conduction study - very
> painful - when the lights and the computer went dark. A few minutes later
> things came back as the hospital's massive diesel generators kicked in,
> but the computer holding the results of the test, almost completed, had to
> be rebooted, all my data was gone, and we had to start the study over
> again from the beginning. I hope the computers in the operating theater
> are running continuously on batteries, and ditto for the lighting,
> anesthesia equipment, and more.

John,

   You expose an aspect of progress that's too often overlooked by most
people: there are almost always unintended consequences of change.
Sometimes, procedures such as your nerve conduction study that depend on
uninterrupted electrical/electronic devices need power supplies that bridge
the gap between mains power and local generators kicking in (which I
understand should occur within seconds, not minutes.)

   The issue of too many standards for digital medical data among competing
providers is, IMO, one of these critical issues. Another is communications
with a distant expert when a patient is in radio-free lands (abundant in
rural areas).

   Seems to me that as a society we unquestionably accept the touted benefits
offered by a technology without asking probing questions about their
limitations or susceptibility to disruption.

   I'm really glad to read that you continue to thrive despite being probed,
holed, and otherwise supporting the health care industry. Happy holidays to
you and may 2019 keep you out of hospitals.

Regards,

Rich


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