Brian Ahier

Brian Ahier is a City Councilor in The Dalles, Oregon. He works as Health IT Evangelist for Information Systems at Mid-Columbia Medical Center. He also serves on the board of Mid-Columbia Council of Government and Q-Life. He is passionate about healthcare reform, government 2.0 and health IT. He writes regularly at his blog and updates frequently on Twitter.

Disrupting health care with Google Glass

The convergence of hardware and software, and innovation in wearable technology, provides opportunities for disruption.

Editor’s note: this article originally appeared on Advanced Health Information Exchange Resources; this lightly edited version is published here with permission.

I joined the Glass Explorer Program and have started using Google Glass with a focus on finding medical uses for this type of wearable computing technology. While I believe it’s the analytics capabilities that will allow us to realize the value of health information technology, the convergence of hardware and software — combined with an explosion of wearable sensor technology — is providing powerful opportunities for some disruptive innovation in the health care marketplace and the practice of medicine.

Charles Webster, M.D., got me really interested in the potential with his presentation Google Glass and Healthcare Information and Workflow at the 2014 Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference, held immediately before HIMSS 2014. Chuck has been posting about Google Glass for some time, and one of his posts on the HIMSS Future Care blog is well worth reading. Some of the insights from his post include:

“There’s lots of interest in Glass use by surgeons, EMTs, and nurses, for hands-free and real-time access to critical information. It’s justified. But there’s also been negative speculation about threats to patient privacy. What will patients think when they see their physician wearing Glass? In my opinion, it will become just another tool they associate with health care workers (less obtrusive than the head mirror that used to be a symbol of the medical profession). The bigger question should be, what will physicians and others think when they see a patient wearing Glass?”

I decided it was finally time to take the plunge and become a Glass Explorer and got my Google Glass just in time for the annual HIMSS conference to end. For those who have not yet seen Google Glass or don’t understand how the technology works, it is basically a computer strapped to your head in the form of a pair of glasses. It has a heads-up display, voice activation and a growing number of apps. Check out the Google Glass homepage to learn more. When you think about having all of the technology of a smartphone, and then some, incorporated into a pair of glasses, it boggles the mind as to the various use cases for health care. I want to outline just a few and then think about what other innovative possibilities this type of technology could bring to the industry. Read more…

Parts of healthcare are moving to the cloud

Cloud-based electronic health record services are gaining traction.

Brian Ahier looks at offerings from CareCloud and athenahealth that combine cloud-based access with electronic health records.

Big data is the next big thing in health IT

Big data introduces unique healthcare challenges and opportunities.

The proliferation of digital health information, including both clinical and claims information, is creating large datasets and significant opportunity.

Preview of HIMSS 2012

Collaboration, trust in platforms, and application of social media are key health IT trends.

Brian Ahier says we're at a pivotal moment for healthcare and health IT. Many of the core issues that will shape these domains in the years to come will be discussed at the upcoming Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference.

Open source alchemy: Health care and Alembic at OSCON

Brian Behlendorf and David Riley on open source health solutions and the Aurion project.

In a series of short video interviews, Brian Behlendorf and David Riley discuss the intersection of open source and electronic health records, and they outline the mission of the Aurion project.

Health care projects could yield templates for tackling big problems

U.S. CTO Aneesh Chopra discusses the Direct Project and the Blue Button initiative.

U.S. CTO Aneesh Chopra on how the transparent process that led to the Direct Project could serve as a template for solving other problems.

Healthcare communication gets an upgrade

The Direct Project, formerly NHIN Direct, looks to unite health messaging and the Internet.

Most healthcare communication still involves faxes and paper copies. The Direct Project, formerly known as NHIN Direct, wants to change that through software and secure Internet transport of health messaging.

Health IT and the path toward better care and lower costs

A Health 2.0 panel tackles tech training, healthy homes and more.

Health 2.0 marked the opening of its Northwest chapter with a panel discussion that looked at how health technologies can improve patient care and reduce costs. Brian Ahiera offers a rundown on the panelists and their key points.

Capturing health data in everyday life

Paul Tarini on the link between health care and observations of daily living.

In this audio interview, Paul Tarini, team director of the Pioneer Portfolio at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, discusses the health-care value of sleeping patterns, eating habits and other everyday data.

How open source can improve health care

Three perspectives on the links between health care, government and open source.

As the health IT industry ramps up to meet the meaningful use rules, the opportunities for open source to provide solutions are increasing. At OSCON, Radar blogger Brian Ahier spoke with three men with unique perspectives on health care and open source: David Riley, head of the CONNECT initiative, Brian Behlendorf, formerly of Apache and now working with CONNECT, and Arien Malec, coordinator for NHIN Direct.