From Apple to Apps: An Early Innovator’s Perspective on the Future of Personal Health Records

Few people fall in love with health information systems because of someone bombing battleships, but Peter Groen is an exception.  In 1981, while working as a computer systems analyst at a hospital in Atlanta, he was part of a team that helped a paralyzed patient to communicate by carefully attaching an electrical lead to the man’s eyelid by which he was thence able to instruct the computer to “bomb” targets in an early Apple video game. “We knew that a thinking man was trapped inside that body when he was able to follow instructions and successfully play the game.  We were then able to write a simple program that let the patient ‘write’ a simple message using a similar method of controlling the computer.”  Groen was hooked: “I couldn’t see working in finance, marketing or sales after that.  I wanted to use my knowledge to help people and working in health care was the right place to do that.” Continue reading

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