Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Are Documents Dead?


As I am looking over potential comments to the mHealth profile, I find Gary's post asking, in the context of the mHealth profile, if Documents are Dead. I don't know why this is relevant to the mHealth profile, except that it is document based, so far. Meaning that the goal of the profile is actually to give access to documents. Thus it does start with the premise that documents do exist and people/systems want access to them. Reminder the profile is actually "Mobile Access to health Documents (MHD)", it is just referred to as mHealth simply for the marketing.

I find it very interesting that Gary uses a Document to indicate that Documents are dead. The blog post is a Document. The format clearly is different than historic documents, but the concept that Gary has taken past experience and research; applied his brain; and produced a new concept that is Documented into a format that tells a story... a document...

The Document is far more the conclusion of a past set of thinking. The blog article is now being split up into datum by the likes of google and bing; it is being recollected in the likes of RSS feeds; and likely republished in some newsletter like deployment. I see these very things happening with healthcare documents. The document is not intended to be an input to a human, it could be; but rather the human is an inference-engine intended to treat a patient given historic knowledge and then document the reasoning and what was done. I certainly hope that humans can get a more relevant format as input than a blunt list of historic documents. But ultimately something must have decomposed the historic information.

There is a circle of information, a document is just one step. And a blog only proves that the "document" has a place on this life-cycle.