When making a pitch for the why and the how of the iotaMed project, consider the following items. As always during a presentation of a product or solution, adhere to the scheme:
- What is the problem?
- What is the solution?
- How do we get there?
What is the problem?
There are several serious problems, some of which are caused by current Electronic Health Care record systems (EHR) and some which are left unresolved by them.
- Lack of overview of the patient
- No connection to clinical guidelines, no indication of which guidelines to follow or which have been followed
- No connection between prescriptions and diseases, except very circumstantial
- No ability to detect and warn for contraindications
- No archiving or demoting of less important and solved problems
- Lack of overview of status of the patient, there is only a series of historical observations
- In most systems, no searcheability of any kind
- An extreme excess of textual data that cannot possibly be read by every doctor at every encounter
- Confidentiality borders are very hard to define
- Very rigid and closed interfaces, making extension with custom functionality very difficult
- Too much secretarial work and undue delays
What is the solution?
The solution consists of several parts:
- The introduction of "issues"
- The support of a modular structure
- The improvement of quality in specifications and interfaces
- The lessening of dependence on overly heavy standards work
- The opening of the market to smaller entrepreneurs
How do we get there?
The way to achieve the solution involves phases, each of which has to be fruitful in its own right, leading to early rewards in functionality and early payback for expended effort and investments for all parties.
- Raise awareness of the problem and locating interested parties
- Creating the market
- Develop the first minimal product
- Evolve the first product, introducting interconnections
- Invite and support other entrepreneurs to participate
- Invite dialog with established all-in-one vendors and administrative organisations
- Formalize cooperation, establish minimal working groups
This is the phase we are currently in. In this, we focus mainly on the actual users, that is doctors and nurses, who are acutely aware of the problems with current EHR systems. We show them outlines of solutions and encourage them to take action each in their own environment to allow productive initiatives to be started.
At the same time, we try to find sponsoring organisations that are able to help us further the initiative, including private industry and investment bodies. It is very important to us that these bodies are aware of our initiative, since they may in many instances already have relationships with parties that could greatly benefit from joining the initiative. Also, naturally, we can use help ourselves in spreading the message.
Creating the market
Even though there are a number of highly capable entrepreneurs that can build very valuable solutions for health-care, there is no market for these entrepreneurs to act in. The first step must then be to create such a market.
Develop the first minimal product
Before the market can develop, one or more products need to be produced, illustrating the functionality and showing how useful products actually can be done with open interfaces and that it is viable to develop open source medical software.
Evolve and interconnect
Introduce connections to preexisting systems to work out the principles and to demonstrate that it is possible, opening the way for others to do the same.
Invite and support
When the first products work and are connected to existing systems, heavily promote others to do the same and join the effort. Show that a collection of smaller development organizations can produce interoperating best-of-breed solutions and that cooperation is gainful.