[Haskell-cafe] Possible Haskell Project

Antoine Latter aslatter at gmail.com
Tue Jun 2 01:12:05 EDT 2009

On Mon, Jun 1, 2009 at 11:18 PM, Tom Hawkins <tomahawkins at gmail.com> wrote:
> My family and I are moving in the coming months.  My wife will be
> attending a new school in the fall.  Among the many hassles of moving
> are locating and transferring medical records to new doctors and
> clinics.  During our time in Minnesota, we've visited several clinics
> and hospitals, so our medical data is spread across a dozen different
> networks.  Collecting this data is a chore.  And reciting it to every
> new medical provider is frustrating, especially knowing someone else
> has already typed this stuff into the computer.
> For obvious reasons, there are many software companies competing in
> the Electronic Health Record (EHR) industry.  I haven't spent much
> time researching the field, but I have to imagine there is no shortage
> of bloated standards and next to nil interoperability.  With President
> Obama pushing for electronic health records, this could be an
> opportunity for the Haskell community to deliver a common framework
> that the US, and maybe the rest of the world, could build upon -- a
> longshot I realize.
> At the core, the fundamental problem is not that complicated.  It's
> just storing and retrieving a person's various health events:
> checkups, prescriptions, procedures, test results, etc.  The main
> technical challenges are database distribution and patient security.
> Both are fun problems, and our friends at Galios continue to show how
> effective Haskell is at building secure systems.
> Any thoughts?  Ideas?
> -Tom

A good place to start is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HL7 , which is a
not-for-profit organization which tries to define interfacing
standards between medical devices and medical records providers.  I
haven't worked much with their standards so I don't know how useful
they'd be. I think they might be geared towards vendor-to-vendor

As for the legacy of people who thought it wasn't complex:

I don't agree with everything the guy wrote, but it's an interesting article.

As for knowing how to use the data once you've got it, there were some
recent news articles about the Google personal-health-record (PHR)
importing billing codes and trying to use them to reconstruct a
clinical history to not-so-great effect.

And I would say that the security problem is more than a technical
problem - the big security issue in medical record interchange is
privacy. What data can flow between healthcare organizations? What
information can individual organizations restrict access to? How can
we get the patient's input in how their data can move between
healthcare organizations? Should we?

And how should data move to organizations that are both providers and
payors? Does it matter?

Maybe I'm drifting a bit far afield from Haskell ...


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