I have a Computer Science/Health Informatics background and currently working as a Senior Scientist for Philips Research North America exploring ways to improve radiology workflow efficiency, primarily around CDS for radiology reporting.
Prior to my current role, I interned a couple of times at Microsoft (Health Solutions Group) where I explored the use of touch based devices, including Windows Phone 7, to facilitate data entry into Amalga (the MS owned unified health enterprise platform). I developed several functional prototypes using C#/WPF/SilverLight/WebServices/SQL Server type technologies to demonstrate the concepts, one of which was demonstrated at HIMSS 2011. Take a look at my LinkedIn profile for a more detailed list of things I’ve done in the past.
I did my undergrad in Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Auckland and graduated in 2004 with First Class Honours. Then I spent some time working in industry as a Java software engineer before starting my PhD in Computer Science with a focus on health informatics, at the University of Auckland under the supervision of Prof. Jim Warren. I had quite a productive run as a PhD student, and managed to submit pretty much in three years, on the 12th of May 2010 to be precise. My PhD research focussed primarily on using primary care electronic medical record data to identify patients with chronic conditions who are on suboptimal therapy – have a look here for an overview. If you are interested, a copy of my PhD thesis can be downloaded from here. There’s a short profile of me on the Auckland CS website as well now 🙂
In general, I am interested in using health information technology for improving quality of care in medical practice, outcomes assessment, developing tools to support clinical decision making and promoting effective communication among providers and patients. EMR data is such a rich data source and I think better ways to tap into this resource need to be developed to promote quality assurance. I’m also a big fan of using visual analytics techniques to develop practice-specific, and patient-specific dashboard that can help providers (and patients?) to see high level views of what’s going on, as well as drill-down into the specific when needed.
I also like PHR systems, for instance, Microsoft HealthVault (Google Health was good too, but it’s no more). With increasing healthcare costs, I think there is increasing emphasis on empowering and educating patients to take control of their health. Also, with the new emerging tele-monitoring techniques I think PHRs could have a lot to offer in the future. I have a HealthVault account (had Google Health too in the past), and I can certainly think of a number of usability/interface issues I’d like to see improved in the future. More importantly, I think the PHR players should look at developing an underlying quality audit model that can provide automated monitoring/auditing capabilities. The APIs can also be improved so that in addition to emailing/texting the alert to the patient, it also goes to the related medical professional (e.g., clinician/pharmacist) if authorised by the patient; for example, if we had techniques to monitor patient medication adherence based on prescribing, non-adherence details can be emailed to the clinician; on the other hand, refill-adherence is a major problem worldwide, so if it’s a refill related alert, that information can go to the pharmacist who can then follow up with the patient, and perhaps snail mail the medication if the patient is having transport issues. Anyway, again I think this is a great opportunity out there that needs to be explored, but of course the logistics of actually implementing such a fully-integrated system may not be that easy after all.