29 November 2009

Medical students who wave

What will we do with Google Wave? Will it be an important part of our lives or will it be one of those things we don't need? Will we use it all the time or just for special applications? It's difficult to know. It's hard not to be excited by it but just whether it will be useful or not is unclear. Dr Grumble thinks that it might be good for developing ideas - planning a research project, for example. But it might not. It remains to be seen. Others have suggested that it might be useful for meeting notes made by everybody at the same time. But would that be manageable? We don't yet know.

Below is a public wave for medical students:

It's not clear yet to Dr Grumble how you can link to these things. Perhaps you can't. But you should be able to find it if you search the public waves. But whether you will find it of any use is quite another matter.


Dr Grumble said...

Dr Grumble's attempts to link to waves have failed. Perhaps it can't be done any more than you can link to an email.

Unfortunately with the comments disabled owing to the wretched spammers if somebody knows differently Dr Grumble will never find out.

For the time being Google Wave seems to be free of spam.

Dr Grumble said...

It seems others have failed to find ways to link to a particular wave. There is an obvious need to be able to do that either from within a wave or from, say, a blog. It doesn't seem to be possible but presumably it could become a feature in the future.

Prisoner of Hope said...

Glad to see that you have overcome the spammers sufficiently to turn comments back on - they eere turned off so this "response" could not be posted at the time

Dr G,

As I understand it, Google Wave is available only to those who have been accepted for test accounts. It was launched in May 09 at a developer conference and there are a couple of demos avasilable on the web to explain it. One is an 8 minute overview, and the other is a whoping 90 minutes

The developers are the same team behind Google Maps. They felt that email and instant messaging are based on 40 year old techologies which in turn were based on snail mail and telephones. They asked the question how could we redesign these and related aspects of collaborative working if we started afresh with today's much more powerful computers, phones and platforms alongside languages like HTML (5 and 6) and Java.

Ray Ozzie - who developed Lotus Notes - and now is the driving force behind Microsoft Office development tried something similar with Groove and Office Groove about 3 years ago.

I have long felt that secure collaborative working has much to offer clinicians and patients alike. I would like to be in a position to share my 50+ year lifelong electronic health record (which resulted from a PhD study I undertook a few years back)and encourage virtual case conferences among the multiple clinicians I stil see in out patient clinics, if only to ensure that changes to polypharmacy are better understood and shared. At present I try very hard to ensure the "baton of health care" is passed on with being dropped.

I appreciate that medical training and practice has a long way to go before this will materialise BUT perhaps Wave may achieve what previous collaborative solutions have failed to do so far and that is to excite the body of practicing clinicians to embrace the possibilities.

In time - as the medical students are showing - future generations will wonder why we have not worked like this before.

I speak from some experience as a Notes and Groove developer who has built solutions for international corporates like IBM, GlaxoSmithKline, Ford, Orange and a host of other companies in telecom, financial and other service sectors.

The current "wave" of developers have certainly taken the whole area further forward and it looks a lot of fun to use but the proof will be when the eventual solution goes mainstream and we see if Google and other independant providers, who sign up, can offer the necessary bandwidth for all who want to participate to be able to do so.

One thing is sure those who embrace Wave and similar future collaborative solutions will do far more to advance the quality of services being provided than any adoption resulting from the current wasteful NHS IT fiasco!

Dr Grumble said...

Do you want an invitation to Wave, Prisoner of Hope?

Dr G can give you one but he cannot find your email address. If you don't mind leaving it here today he will send you an invitation and delete your email address as soon as he can which, on a Sunday, should be quite swiftly.

Prisoner of Hope said...

Thanks for the offer but I have been using it now for a week myself and have issued a few invitations to others.

Its a pity we can't find a way of sharing our Wave identities without publicising email addresses. What we need is a George Smiley like drop site - or some sort of cryptographic formula - which would of course have to "self destruct".