As President Obama's economic stimulus package winds its way through the politico, people in the tech sector wait with bated breath to find out what it will mean for the IT industry. Of particular interest is the section of the bill that details how the administration plans to go about digitizing medical records.
Once the details are figured out, you can bet software vendors all over the country will swing into action developing products to process, secure, and transmit medical records. Too bad they'll be a day late to the party.
Seattle-based Remote Medical has already been assisting emergency medical crews around the world via specialized phone- and computer-based software. Founded seven years ago by 30 year-old Andrew Cull, the company's 67 employees provide telemedical services 24/7 for rescue crews facing extreme situations.
"The 30-year-old paramedic-turned-chief executive may be dispatching a helicopter to rescue a fallen mountain climber in Nepal or overseeing the evacuation of a sick scientist from a research station in the South Pacific," says Brier Dudley, who recently chronicled the company in an article for the Seattle Times.
Though the company offers hands-on first aid classes, rescue training, and a variety of specialized services, Dudley notes that Remote Medical stands out as a snapshot of how closely medical services and technology are expected to be connected in the future.
"Remote Medical's gains haven't come from any particular device, although its doctors and medics share information via iPhones, MacBooks, BlackBerries and satellite phones. A medic may transfer EKG readings to an iPhone and send them ahead to the hospital, or connect a laptop to a satellite phone and videoconference with a physician in the U.S."
No one knows exactly what shape Obama's medical information directives will take, but it's clear that companies like Remote Medical will be leading the pack when the picture starts to become clear.