Preparing for the MS Healthcare User Group 2009 Conference

31 Aug
2009

MSHUGLOGO

 

I’ll be headed to Redmond, WA tomorrow for the 2009 Microsoft Healthcare User Group conference.   If you follow this blog you will remember I attended last year and came back with a slightly less jaded perspective of Microsoft’s efforts in the health care space.  As a company I think Microsoft has made some great strides in recent years…  Don’t get me wrong, they have certainly made their fair share of mistakes.  However Microsoft is now in the midst of playing catchup to an industry that doesn’t look kindly on stalwarts.  Some key success that I think will help Microsoft are the release of Windows 7 later this year.  I’m happily writing this blog post on Windows 7 Enterprise Edition and feel confident that Redmond finally got this version of the OS right.  I’ve attended some sessions with Microsoft as part of my current position and know that they have a ways to go yet before Amalga becomes an industry spread name.   They don’t yet have a firm foothold in the US market for leveraging their inpatient hospital centric system with an ambulatory EMR’s.  If they hope to gain some momentum they are up against some big guns in this industry so I’ll be curious to see their approach in the coming months.  

In the mean time I’m looking forward to doing a deep dive into interface, and Silverlight development…  Yes, I said Silverlight.   If you were to ask me 6 months ago what I thought of Silverlight as a viable development platform for web apps I would have shrugged it off as another one of Microsofts attempts at trying to play catch-up to Adobe’s Flash.   We are currently building a rather unique user interface that really focuses on clinician interaction with the document and underlying data and requires some interface development that doesn’t come easy by standard web development methodologies or even many AJAX powered components.  After digging deeper it is clear to me Microsoft is not going to play runner-up in this media-rich web development space.     Silverlight’s data driven components are a real benefit compared with similar Flash based components.   Also Microsoft is quite anal retentive toward the security model they have developed around this browser based add-in.    This coupled with the offline capabilities of Silverlight make it a very compelling platform to base our EMR on.  I’ll be back with interesting items from the conference.

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