Monthly Archives: December 2006 - Page 2


Tim Gee has a post a post about the OQO, a small computer. It is a computer that runs WindowsXP that fits in your hand. I test drove the device for about a month when the first one was released. I realized that the device was fundamentally flawed. The device is too small to be useful when running XP apps, and too big to fit comfortably in your pocket. In order to use the device applications must be written specifically for the small screen size. And today there are very few that are. If application support was there I may say that it is a good device for vertical applications, like an EMR front end. But today there is a dearth of apps and thus i found the device to be not useful.

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Deficit Reduction Act

Recently Congress passed the Deficit Reduction Act which among other things reduced the amount of money that imaging centers can bill for when performing radiology studies. Dalai points out that the ACR was not effective at lobbying congress on the behalf of radiologists. I agree but want to point out that healthcare in general is not effective at lobbying congress. This is why we cannot use SSN to identify a patient across facilities while those in finance can. The whole industry is bad at lobbying and has been for a long time.

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Osirix is an open source DICOM viewer for Mac. This year at RSNA as usual the osirix team had many talks and demos. One of the talks happened to be in the session that I was also presenting in. The presentation that I listened to was about authoring teaching files using Osirix and other Mac applications and then publishing them to the web. The presenter also showed how simple tagging could be used to tag cases. Come on guys. This sucked.

The teaching files were authored by saving JPEG images and them using an apple web page generator with templates to make a web page that looks nice and upload to an apple site. This is the same single vendor approach that we have been fighting for 15 years in Radiology. Just because it is a mac and has shiny buttons does not make it better. Every piece that was showed can be done on Windows today. Support for the IHE TCE profile, which allows teaching files to be authored from inside the PACS and sent to any TCE aware teaching file was not discussed. Tagging was limited to a single persons tags. Have some imagination. Tagging is about sharing. I love For anything that I tag I can see what other people used. I think that tagging has limited value when it is not social.

In the year 2006 we are trying to build interoperable software. We know we can build single vendor solutions that work. We can build them on any platform. The Osirix people should be looking to the web, not the Mac if they want to really push software in radiology. A collaborative teaching file written in AJAX on a platform like Zoho would be awesome. Allowing people access to your system is what we need. Another Osirix exhibit I saw should how using apple technologies two Osirix system can talk to each other through the Internet. Good Lord. Do the authors really think we are so stupid to think that this is some great breakthrough that apple and the osirix team have achieved. Frankly I am disgusted by what I saw. It is just someone saying "Me too, me too. Look what I can do." Nothing that was shown was original.

HD DVD vs. Blue-ray

While I am not an owner of a player of either of these advanced formats O’Reilly Radar has a great link to a site that compares the performance of both formats in the marketplace. Personally I think the battle is a mute point since I expect everything to be delivered over the internet. Still it makes for an interesting read.

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This week I decided to try out Firefox after getting totally fed up with IE 7. Last time I used Firefox was right around its 1.0 release and I was frustrated with plugins that did not work across versions. So I have been using IE 7 all through the beta. For me it is a huge letdown, and I care less about its lack of standards conformance than most people. There are two things that irk me.

  1. When a popup or ActiveX control is blocked the page needs to be refreshed to see it. This is so frustrating when refreshing the page send you several pages back. Whatever is being blocked should be caught and cached so if the user decides to see it the page does not have to be refreshed.
  2. I have found that sometimes when I right click on a link and click open that IE crashes. I mean come on guys. IE should be the best browser out there.

So I am up and running on Firefox and I like it. I have a blogging plugin that I am writing this from. is integrated. Life is good.

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GE Healthcare Blogs

GE has launched a couple of blogs. They are somewhat corporate sounding but I will give them a chance. Remember GE, your employees and customers need to be able to criticize you on your blog in an open environment. That is the mark of truly impressive organization.

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Comparison shopping for healthcare

The Healthcare IT Guy has a great guest article on comparison shopping for health care services. I thought about this a while. Basically my idea was to create something between an Amazon and an Ebay for people with HSAs or people paying out of pocket. Patients could advertise what they wanted and doctors could bid on it. Interesting stuff. I think that a more informed consumer will be good for health care.

What’s an EMR?

Neil Versel has a conversation with a sales rep about what an EMR is at RSNA. Really quite scary.

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What happens when Google thinks your site has been hacked

Matt Cutts has an excellent post on what happens when google thinks that your site has been hacked. I highly recommend.

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More GoogleMIRC Links

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