The Cambridge-based software company Autonomy yesterday announced that they have developed their anti-fraud software for use in medical diagnosis. Their technology is widely used in several industries to search digital records, including unstructured data in emails and voicemails, to identify patterns and connections.

The system will be able to search medical records and notes to spot patterns and similarities that are not immediately apparent in the diagnostic process. It will be interesting to see how quickly this can be adopted by the NHS, where IT developments are notoriously slow.

Meanwhile, back in the fast moving world of consumer IT, British charity The Meningitis Trust, has released an iPhone application to help people recognise and react to the symptoms of Meningitis. The app is free, it can be downloaded in seconds and it provides simple advice via a device that many people carry at all times. It is probably saving lives already.

At some point soon, I hope, the power of the Autonomy application and the simplicity of the Meningitis app will come together. All it will take is someone with scale and vision to make it happen. Google?


One Response to “Healthcheck”

  1. 1 Camilla

    I have the meningitis app on my iPhone. I use it mainly to make my 17-year-old laugh every time he gets a stiff neck or is sensitive to light. I expect if he is able to laugh at the diagnostics he probably doesn’t have meningitis.

    However, simplifying diagnosis is not simple. I worked with a Microsoft consultant who went to help develop a taxonomy for the NHS, to help them record information about, I think, leg problems. There were many thousands of questions which could be asked or answered and they were trying to get them down to a limited number of screens, so diagnosis could become a five-step or seven-step process. The consultant moved on again, so I don’t know what happened to the project, but they expected it to take years.

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