News

What Are We Prepared to Do in the United States to Save Primary Care?

I propose two significant changes to help make primary care relevant in the 21st century...I wrote a longer piece on [Virtual Care] earlier in the year. In short, it's a disgrace that we've put so many hurdles on telemedicine, and that it continues to be so underused. It is widely available in health plans, but rarely practiced by physicians nor by patients. Instead, we still mostly go to our doctors offices, to ERs, or perhaps now to drugstores.A televisit should be the first course of action for non-emergencies. We must remove regulatory and reimbursement barriers, and incent patients to take advantage of the speed and convenience of the option. Moreover, as AI options for diagnoses and advice quickly become more viable, we can use them to triage our needs, help assure continuity with physicians, and eventually reduce the need to talk to a human...

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The Community-Led Renaissance of Open Source

In a revival and expansion of the principles that drove the first generation of community-led open source commercial players, creators are now coming together in a new form of collaboration. Rather than withholding software under a different license, they're partnering with each other to provide the same kinds of professional assurances that companies such as Red Hat discovered were necessary back in the day, but for the thousands of discrete components that make up the modern development platform. Today's generation of entrepreneurial open source creators is leaving behind the scarcity mindset that bore open core and its brethren. Instead, they're advancing an optimistic, additive, and still practical model that adds missing commercial value on top of raw open source.

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How DoD Plans to Leverage Artificial Intelligence and Open Source to Improve Emergency Response and Disaster Relief

Some might not know it, but the US military plays a key role in US disaster response strategy and, accordingly, the Department of Defense (DoD) has prioritized its disaster response mission and is investing heavily towards increasing its capabilities and effectiveness. Technology is a big part of all modern DoD missions, and disaster response is no different. The most promising and transformative technology on the horizon for our future, and for the future of the DoD, is Artificial Intelligence (AI). So how exactly will the DoD leverage Artificial Intelligence technologies in order to meet the demands of the disaster response mission? Is a new Center of Excellence created by DoD, called the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC). Read More »

Transforming Health Care Through A 360-Degree View Of Data

How medical care can be substantially improved through a full spectrum view of all factors that affect health was the topic of Payam Etminani's presentation at the 2019 IDGA Veterans Benefits Conference in Washington D.C. Etminani, the CEO of Bitscopic, argued that the ability to view all health data including social, environmental and genomic information in addition to the traditional clinical measures (vital signs, blood work, history of illness etc), would lead to significant improvement in care. Etminani described how recent advances in Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) make combining and using these large and widely varied sets of information possible. Read More »

Major Interoperability Initiative Launched During the Annual Meeting of The Sequoia Project

On December 5, 2019, HLN Consulting, LLC participated in The Sequoia Project's day long annual meeting which was held just outside of Washington, D.C. at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. As a leading healthcare informatics consulting company HLN monitors developments in healthcare interoperability nationally with particular emphasis on the impact to public health agencies and their stakeholders. This conference represented a good opportunity to participate in the start of a major interoperability initiative that will play out over the next several years. In addition to this report, the Sequoia Project posted the proceedings of the meeting online, including the recorded discussions as well as the slides from the presentations. Read More »

A Perspective of Open Source Licensing Models for the Health Care Industry

Recently, I've had several interesting conversations about how business models based on open source technologies apply to the healthcare industry. While a lot has been written on the subject, I aim to provide a concise summary and some of my personal perspectives on the matter. This article discusses the definition of open source technology and licensing models; a second article will discuss governance models and applications in healthcare...In reality, it's hard to talk about open source licensing without talking about intellectual property (IP) and copyright. Copyright sums up the rights and obligations that the rightful owner associates with the work. The license describes the rights and obligations of any and everyone else, and can be as broad or as limited as the owner chooses.

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Let's Place Some Big Bets - Reinventing Medical Care

When we think about market research and Big Data, think about Henry Ford's (possibly apocryphal) quote: Most of our healthcare innovations and reforms take the existing healthcare system as a given and try to build upon it in some way. They add more on-ramps to the healthcare superhighway, widen its lanes, try to smooth the pavements, maybe even automate our driving on it. But sometimes we need to tear the highway down. Here, in brief, are some big bets I'd like to see someone take on...

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What Blockchain and Open Source Communities Have in Common

One of the characteristics of blockchains that gets a lot of attention is how they enable distributed trust. The topic of trust is a surprisingly complicated one. In fact, there's now an entire book devoted to the topic by Kevin Werbach. But here's what it means in a nutshell. Organizations that wish to work together, but do not fully trust one another, can establish a permissioned blockchain and invite business partners to record their transactions on a shared distributed ledger. Permissioned blockchains can trace assets when transactions are added to the blockchain. A permissioned blockchain implies a degree of trust (again, trust is complicated) among members of a consortium, but no single entity controls the storage and validation of transactions.

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New Report: Top Challenges Facing HHS Includes Harnessing Data

In November 2019 the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a new report, Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing HHS. Divided into six major sections, this report reviews the OIG's observations with respect to financial integrity of HHS programs, value and quality, protecting the health and safety of beneficiaries as well as the public at large, harnessing data to achieve these goals, and working across government. The fifth challenge, "Harnessing Data To Improve Health and Well-Being of Individuals," is particularly foundational. Read More »

An introduction to Hyperledger Fabric

One of the biggest projects in the blockchain industry, Hyperledger, is comprised of a set of open source tools and subprojects. It's a global collaboration hosted by The Linux Foundation and includes leaders in different sectors who are aiming to build a robust, business-driven blockchain framework. There are three main types of blockchain networks: public blockchains, consortiums or federated blockchains, and private blockchains. Hyperledger is a blockchain framework that aims to help companies build private or consortium permissioned blockchain networks where multiple organizations can share the control and permission to operate a node within the network. Since a blockchain is a transparent, immutable, and secure decentralized system, it is considered a game-changing solution for traditional supply chain industries. It can support an effective supply chain system by:

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