When I initially worked with the Microsoft Surface table at this year’s HIMSS conference in Chicago, IL I was left a little uninspired. I think the deep dives into some different applications at this years MSHUG conference got me thinking about how this tech could be used in a clinic. It is definitely a collaborative tool and could be used by physicians as discussion points during clinic visits. While I would question the real use of a $30k table I can certainly see some multi-touch monitors being utilized in some ambulatory exam rooms to interact with patient records. I decided to do a little deep dive myself into these applications on my multi-touch Tablet PC to see how we might incorporate some of these technologies in future implementations. While multi-touch is available for the Windows Presentation Foundation and development in Visual Studio there was a demo during MSHUG of a multi-touch Silverlight implementation which was quite impressive. There is a lot of development going on around Silverlight and it is worth taking a look at. I’ve seen several of the CUI components that are slated for the first half of 2010 and they will certainly find a home in some of our applications. I thought I would take the Surface apps for a test spin so after doing a little search I found the Microsoft Surface Touch Pack for Windows 7. One of the several apps downloaded was the Surface Collage
This application allowed for the manipulation of pictures by spinning them and scaling them according to various multi-touch inputs. I dragged a few of my blog post entries onto the collage canvas and while my PC isn’t the fastest it certainly was responsive enough for me to interact with.
Of special note was the prerequisite requirement to install a NVIDIA PhysX Driver and the Microsoft XNA Redistributable Framework prior to loading the series of applications. Clearly advanced graphics hardware will benift these multi-touch applications. The bottom of the screen scrolled either left or right depending on the direction by which the user moves their finger across the screen. The motion was fluid and intuitive. It is nice to see Microsoft breaking away from the norm of user interfaces and trying something completely different. If Microsoft can pull off the hardware and software integration needed to make this work then they can certainly apply this technology to other areas such as interactive advertising and kiosks. Time will tell how we incorporate this technology into our architecture however the concept of distributed computing and interaction among different systems certainly spurs my imagination.
Today wrapped up the final day of MSHUG 2009. Most of the seminars were good and cements the notion that I would like to present the innovative development and architecture we are implementing at WellMed at a future MSHUG Exchange. Microsoft is putting their efforts and resources behind the Microsoft Common User Interface (www.mscui.net) and are set to release the next version in October 2009 with another iteration set for the first half of 2010.
One of the more interesting items outside the conference rooms was the Microsoft Surface Table. It was equipped with several healthcare applications including many Windows Presentation Foundation applications that included 3D manipulations of a heart, personal health records, as well as document and image manipulation. It made for a very compelling application for interaction between physician and patients
The next Exchange will be in the days before HIMSS 2010 which will be in Atlanta, GA. In addition to some good sessions I was privileged to meet other healthcare professionals who share the same passion for technology and quality care delivery.
Day one is complete and this year the attendees seem a bit smaller than last year. The presentations were good and can be downloaded from the mshug.org website. I enjoyed the developer tracks more than others. It is clear that our architecture decisions to move forward with a Silverlight implementation of a client application will well supported by Redmond in the coming years. Microsoft’s position in healthcare is to build the platform by which others will build solutions. I was expecting a stronger Amalga HIS presence but this was strangely absent from many of the first day discussions. Tomorrow will have an interesting keynote on the Medical Home and the UIM component of Amalga which will be very relevant given our work in this space at WellMed Medical Management. The closing keynote for today’s session was given by Microsoft’s current Corporate VP and CIO, Tony Scott. He offered some insight into his perspective into Microsoft and the direction they are headed in relative to product development. Of particular interest was the fact they deploy their release candidates to the majority of internal Microsoft employees prior to general release to the public. This means of course that 90% of the MS staff are using Windows 7. If I could take away one thing from today’s sessions that would be “innovation”. There are several innovative items we are working on relative to architecture, application integration, and data warehousing at work that I hope to speak on in future posts. As for tomorrows sessions there are several on teh clinical informatics track and developer tracks that look interesting. Until tomorrow….
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