Halamka's Report on the August 2015 HIT Standards Committee

The August 2015 HIT Standards Committee marked the beginning of an important transition. As work on Meaningful Use winds down, it is being replaced with work on Obama’s signature precision medicine initiative and planning for the 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory. At the same time, many of the longstanding HIT Standards Committee members of have reached their term limits and are being replaced by new experts.   I will leave the group in January.

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Failure of Amazon Consumer Devices as a Cautionary Tale for mHealth

Something Amazon just did is worth those of us in health care paying attention to.  It doesn't have anything to do with their long-rumored interest in health care, and it wasn't even The New York Times disturbing profile of Amazon's supposedly brutal workplace culture.  Instead, it was the layoff of "dozens" of engineers at Lab126, Amazon's hardware development center, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal.  These were the first layoffs in the division's history...What makes this is a cautionary tale for the rest of us is that even Amazon -- which is noted for their prowess with their online consumer experience -- can't necessarily get the physical consumer experience right.  I think Wired captured the problem best, asserting that Amazon's consumer devices would have been more successful "if Amazon focused more on consumers, and less on consuming."

Open access is a development issue – the status quo needs to be challenged

South Africa is doing some amazing research but cannot share it globally because of restrictive copyright laws or unreasonable policies and embargo periods set by publishers. South African authors cannot become known and cited if their works are locked up behind expensive paywalls, accessible only to a limited audience. South African students and researchers also need access to the best international and local up-to-date journals, books and other research to be able to contribute new knowledge in their fields. This is the reason open access is so crucial for South Africa and other developing countries.

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