A Model for Real-Time Medical Mircroblogging

Peviously, I expounded shortly on the utility of using a Twitter-like service for medical and other healthcare professionals. Right now, Twitter’s reliability, feature-limitations, spam susceptibility and other problems make the Twitter platform shaky for more professional use in healthcare.

But the basic concept is one that aught to inspire an easy-to-use system for the healthcare industry.

Enter Enterprise Social Messaging Experiement (ESME), tweeted by @dahowlett. ESME is a SAP-backed project supported by Siemens IT Solutions and Services (a division of Siemens) that was developed to help clients to communicate with other members of a professional team. ESME includes a service architecture that can allow business users to dynamically communicate, collaborate and solve collective problems. Furthermore it can allow for knowledge mining and microblogging.

The clip below illustrates how ESME can provide the tools to integrate real-time solutions to disparate problems:


What if there were a similar service for the healthcare industry? How more effecitve could problem-sovling get with such a tool?

There are some features in ESME which would be desirable in a medical environment. Additionally, medical social messaging should include:

  • Security
  • HIPAA-compliance
  • Reliability
  • Scalability
  • Real-time networking
  • Dynamic integration
  • Searchable content
  • Role and group filtering
  • Tagging (including priority statuses)

A properly engineered medical social messaging system would naturally be a hefty investment; but the ROI could be worthy of the effort. Of course in its place we have IM, Twitter, Plurk, FriendFeed and countless other services which localized groups of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers could exploit rather effectively.

But the the openness of these current services pose problems which a customized enterprise solution could overcome. The public timeline feature is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it opens users up to potentially millions of of helathcare professionals. A curse because that number could be overwhelming without the proper filters and logins, which if breeched, could harm a patient’s dignity and privacy.

ESME is being developed for use in manufacturing in the example provided in the video. But a similar thought experiement should be conducted for the medical industry.

A tag cloud with terms related to Web 2.Image via Wikipedia

A scalable system could be developed for use within a closed-off network or a within a global network.

Imagine the implications for clinical research, treatment advancement, learning, and the spreading of critically important memes. The list of applications is virtually limitless. An ESME like app could dig deeply into knowledge mines.

The tag cloud and group filtering features are ingenious user-friendly solutions to the problem of data over-abundance. They would go a long way toward intelligent and effective collaborative problem-solving.

There’s a lot of inspiration offered here with ESME. I plan on future posts to discuss the possibilities.

Learn a bit more (and find out what esme also means) here.

Youtube Link

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  1. Thanks for your comment about laconica. I have checked out laconica and it does have appreciable features. Still, I like what ESME offers from an enterprise perspective.

  2. I only discovered this article today.
    You may take a look at (opensource) laconica, which you can setup within the safe boundaries of a (health)organisation

  3. Hi Paul,

    I liked your ideas regarding the implications in the medical profession.

    I just wanted to make a small correction. ESME is supported by “Siemens Siemens IT Solutions and Services (SIS) – a Siemens Division- rather than “Siemens”. Don't want to confuse anyone. We are primarily involved in the project as process consultants (BPXs).



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