There’s an interesting article on INTERNETWEEK about a company called Mitem Corporation which has decided to go with Macromedia technologies over .NET or Java for an application they are building for the healthcare industry. The application is called Blue Iris, and it will allow doctors to use computers to do a lot of things they currently use stacks and stacks of paper for now, like documenting medical histories, recording test results, and prescribing medication.
According to the article, what Mitem finds particularly attractive about using Flash to implement the Blue Iris user interface is that they are able to easily recreate some of the paper-based processes that doctors are accustomed to. Apparently doctors are generally not overly excited about getting acquainted with new technologies, so the key to getting them to accept a new system is to keep the learning curve as gentle as possible.
The article is actually slightly misleading (though not intentionally so). What it should say is that Mitem has decided to use Flash over Microsoft technology or a Java applet for their user interface. They are still using Java on the back-end, though they are going with a 100% Macromedia solution since JRun is their server of choice.As an aside, what is it with doctors and new technology? Whenever I am in a doctor’s office, I’m always amazed by how low-tech their operation is, and I always envision myself writing a bunch of applications to make their lives easier, and passing out tablet PCs or laptops for everyone to use. They have fancy diagnostic equipment, but then they have entire walls — from floor to ceiling — of paper files and require as many administrative assistances as there are nurses and doctors to keep it all organized. And it’s not like doctors excel in penmanship, so what do they have against computers? I was having my house painted a few months ago, and one of the painters asked me who I worked for. I told him Macromedia, and he recognized the name right away, and told me how much he loved Flash technology. Then I went to the doctor a few weeks later, and the doctor asked me the same question, but not only had he never heard of Macromedia, but he hadn’t heard of Flash or Java, either. Any doctors out there who can provide an explanation?But I digress. Check out the article.