[Haskell-cafe] Possible Haskell Project

S. Doaitse Swierstra doaitse at swierstra.net
Tue Jun 2 11:00:34 EDT 2009

The Dutch government has been trying to get something like this for  
years; parliament is asking every new minister why the promised heaven  
has not yet arrived, only to hear that more consultants are needed. I  
have been to hearings of our parliament and I can tell you such events  
are extremely informative and make you loose any hope that something  
good will come out of this soon; there are just too many stakeholders,  
and no so-called "problem-owner"s except you. Simple questions asked,  
for which there often is no answer is:

  - who owns the information?
  - are you allowed to change information which you own?
  - should docters pay for the right to enter information in this  
system, or be paid for the service they provide if they enter  

Instead of trying to change the world you may run a small wiki (I run  
Twiki) server on your home machine where you just store the  
information you collect, and enter your information while you are  
having a consult through your iPhone! When you leave the room you ask  
your docter whether what you have entered is a correct view of this  
situation ;-}I think this will solve the major part of your problem,  
and maybe it opens the eyes of the medical establishment.

  Doaitse Swierstra

On 2 jun 2009, at 11:18, wren ng thornton wrote:

> Tom Hawkins wrote:
>> 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?
> Actually, it's a lot more complicated than that, albeit not for  
> "technical" reasons. There's a great deal of legislation about what  
> can and cannot be done with medical records: who can have access to  
> them, under what circumstances, how they can be transmitted, stored,  
> etc. This is more than just boilerplate code--- clinics can be  
> audited to prove proper handling and can loose their licenses or  
> worse for improper handling of records. Additionally, the requisite  
> formats do require a lot of boilerplate code since the protocols  
> were defined back in the paper age and medical legislation moves at  
> the speed of mountains.
> I worked briefly on an open-source database project for managing a  
> medical clinic's records (so, not even for dealing with the public  
> in any way). The technical feat isn't that difficult, as you say,  
> but the human engineering involved can be quite complex--- and the  
> human programming will have major effects on the design, in order to  
> forbid invalid or unacceptable behavior. It's not a project to  
> undertake lightly or without corporate funding.
> Medical record management is a market that has very low penetration  
> from the F/OSS movement, which in turn places a burden on smaller  
> clinics, so I'm all for anyone who's willing to invest in an open  
> solution :)
> -- 
> Live well,
> ~wren
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