LibraryLindy as rich guyLast October I was asked if I’d ever written a book. The answer was, and remains, that I have not. But then I’m not aware of any else having written a book on medical connectivity. After some thought, it seems that the market may be ready for such a literary epic. (I’m going to have to start wearing turtlenecks or ascots and smoking a pipe.)

The past few weeks I’ve been talking to people asking about publishers and such. I’ve got a few leads, but if you can suggest anyone to contact please let me know.

Here’s what I’ve been able to noodle out:

  • First off, the definition: connectivity is workflow automation through the integration of medical devices and information systems
  • The environment for connectivity can be divided into three areas: acute care (hospitals), ambulatory care (mostly physician offices), and home/ambulatory
  • Applications can be divided between monitoring (both monitoring the patient and monitoring therapy delivery) and diagnostic studies
  • One must also take into consideration the infrastructure to support connectivity, stuff like serial interfaces/device drivers, terminal servers, networking, server-to-server integration, client applications - what’s needed, and how to manage and support it
  • Since connectivity is workflow automation, there should probably be a discussion on how to capture workflow and evaluate connectivity workflow provided by vendors
  • Finally, standards and regulatory issues come to mind as a major topic

The areas like medical device interoperability (especially safety interlocks) and wireless sensors are two areas aren’t big now, but probably will be soon. Patient safety and risk analysis probably also deserve a separate focus besides what comes up in monitoring (surveillance and alarm notification) and infrastructure. Another topic that’s hanging out there is the process of requirements gathering, planning, vendor selection, technology assessment, installation and implementation.

Potential audiences include providers and vendors. Since vendors must deal with market requirements (i.e., what providers need and want) and their own product development issues, perhaps the book should focus on providers. Ideally such a focus would be of interest to both providers and vendors. A separate book could address vendor specific issues.

The scope of a book on connectivity is huge. I lack both the time and ego to do something like this myself. I figure to edit/co-edit and write a chapter or two myself. I can think of several terrific contributors (you’ll be getting a call at some point). Who would you suggest, and for what topic?

Somehow, I don’t see an endeavor like this making the New York Times best seller list - or being particularly profitable. I do believe there is a need for such a book to guide providers and help communicate best practices. Any thoughts on business models - traditional publisher, electronic (i.e., free) publishing, partnering with a magazine, selling them out of the trunk of my car, whatever - let me know.

Update: Thanks to librarylindy on Flickr for the use of her photo - I thought it really captured the gravitas and intellectual power of a book author.