Friday, June 24, 2005

President Dissolves Advisory Panel on IT

PITAC, or the President's Information Technology Advisory Group was formed during 1997 at the tail end of the Clinton Administration. George W. Bush (43) continued receiving recommendations from this esteemed committee regarding information technology and computational science across the spectrum of science, engineering, health care and education.
Five years in computational science is more like 25 years in other industries.

"Six years in the information technology business is a lifetime," said Dan Reed, vice chancellor and CIO at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and former member of PITAC. "My personal hope is that PITAC will be reconstituted quickly" (Sternstein, Federal Computer Weekly, 6/23). The first PITAC was established by an executive order signed by President Clinton in February 1997.

The group of industry and academic experts is appointed by the president and serves to advise the Federal Networking and IT Research Development Program. The final report can be found at

http://www.nitrd.gov/pitac/reports/20050609_computational/computational.pdf

This pdf file can be searched quickly for health related topics in the search button (binoculars)

Recommendations are forthcoming for reformation of the advisory group, although much of it's recommendations have been seeded into other organization as a result of their farsightedness.

Today's medical students and premedical students will by necessity be fluent in computational science which will be integrated into their basic science and clinical course work. The computer whether it is a desktop, personal digital assistant, mobile tablet, laptop or an incarnation yet to be on the market will become part of the daily life of the 21st century physician. I forsee white coat mobile platforms with circuitry adapted to be fit into surgical scrubs, and white coats. Heads up displays will become common in spectacle frames just as we now see them in operating microscopes and some endoscopic surgical tools.

In ten years hopefully we will take for granted the completion of a nationwide health information
data structure. Hopefully the natural fears and concerns of patients and consumers will be assuaged by careful and detailed development of cybersecurity. Recently publicized events in the credit card industry reveal potential flaws and difficulties storing too much information in one location. Although we wish to become more efficient we must be ever cautious.

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