« December 2007 | Main | February 2008 »

January 26, 2008

Remote Health Monitoring: big brother or big help?

Picture of workers using PCs.UK law firm Eversheds reports Microsoft has applied for a patent for workplace monitoring software. It could remotely monitor a worker's wellbeing, productivity and competence using metabolic measures like heart rate, temperature and movement and relate them to their psychological profile.

Trade unions are concerned that such software could be used to support cases for dismissal, but Eversheds reminds us of its double edge. Workers may equally be able to claim they were subject to undue stress, which might entitle them to reasonable adjustments to their job and working conditions.

I attended a healthcare CIO conference at Microsoft in Reading UK last week. Fellow blogger Dr. Bill Crounce showed a short clip of a vision of future healthcare that made use of remote monitoring and also surface computing. Cabinets next to a patient's bed could indicate to a patient or a carer when it was time for medication to be to be taken by coloured rings around the drug containers, for instance.

January 06, 2008

Secure Health Records: hardware, software and brainware

Further to my recent postings on the essential technical and human aspects of secure and confidential information systems, I was watching the voluble Gyles Brandreth review the newspapers with Carol Vorderman on the Andrew Marr Show this morning. The discussion touched on the recent losses of personal data by various public sector organisations. Mr. Brandreth said the real problem was not hardware or software but brainware. Nicely put.

To add weight to this read this entry on the Joe Public blog.

January 04, 2008

Wireless Paradise

Picture of an islandThe man who occupied the room next to mine in my last year as an undergraduate has made the news. Shyam is interviewed in a feature on BBC World's Click.

Mauritius is creating a Cyberisland with wireless connections available to most of its citizens. Not only that, but cyberbuses travel the island allowing people, such as agricultural workers, who may be unable to access the Internet to do so.