[Instantrails-users] [Possible spam] New project - any volunteers?

Bill Walton bill.walton at charter.net
Tue Feb 7 11:09:08 EST 2006

Greetings!  (and apologies upfront for any duplication as a result of my cross-posting)

It's been five weeks now since I began working with RoR.  My experience has been incredibly positive.  So much so that I'm emboldened to undertake a project I'd previously concluded I no longer had the technical chops to even _start_.  I've included a brief description of the project below in the hopes that some of you might be interested in participating.  

Best regards,

----------------------  Project summary --------------------

The initial deliverable, to be released the first week of June, is a web site that allows healthcare consumers (you and me) to create a personal EMR (Electronic Medical Record; specifically, a record conforming to the new ASTM Continuity of Care Record standard) and save it to their local PC where it can be burned to CD or copied to a USB device to be carried on their person.  Healthcare providers will be able to use the site to update it when patients visit to keep it current.

The benefits to healthcare consumers include:
1) Saves time / eliminates hassle (hand the receptionist your disk instead of filling out all those forms)
2) Helps ensure personal safety (EMT / ER personnel have basic info that might save your life when seconds count)
3) Delivers these benefits without multiplying the risk to personal privacy (the way a 'central' database would)

(NOTE: I'm not sure I can have it ready by June, but I plan to provide a fourth benefit to consumers WRT vastly improved automated search capabilities for Clinical Trials into which an individual might be accepted.)

The benefits to healthcare providers include:
1) provides a potential market differentiator WRT attracting new patients
2) if they already have an electronic medical records (EMR) system, it will reduce the acquisition cost of new patients in that they will be able to fully utilize the MR record the patient presents
3) if they do not already have an EMR system, this give them an entry point that addresses one of the major barriers to adoption: the cost of getting existing records into the system (patients do most of the data entry for them)
4) it gets the politicians off their backs ("98% of US physicians now accept patient's medical records in electronic form" instead of "Physicians are slow to adopt IT...")

The benefits to the RoR community include:
1) increased visibility of RoR in general (EMRs are a hot topic and I have plans that will ensure the site gets national attention)
2) introduction of RoR to the medical community, many of whom are aspiring and/or practicing software developers
3) additional validation of the RoR platform as viable for 'real' systems.

My plan is to have the software to create and read the data available to both healthcare consumers and providers in June.  Assuming an uptake, the need to manage this data will emerge very quickly for both consumers and providers who do not currently have an EMR system (the vast majority of physicians in private practice here in the US).  I believe RoR is a viable platform for an open source solution on that front too, so the work will continue.

If you have any interest in participating on any level, please let me know.

Thanks for reading this far.

bill.walton at charter.net
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