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Monday, September 27, 2010

'Doctor doctor, gimme the news, I gotta bad case of lovin' Alpha Five

OK, I think I'm going to officially declare a trend: Doctors are rushing to embrace Alpha Five. What makes me say that? Well, I'm partially kidding. I don't have any data that shows thousands of doctors are embracing Alpha Five. But doctors enamored with Alpha Five are coming out of the woodwork recently and contacting me. We certainly haven't been marketing directly to them. But for some reason, these docs are telling us how Alpha Five is helping them simplify medical reporting.

You don't have to have the initials M.D. after your name to know that medical reporting can be complicated. On top of keeping patients healthy, doctors have to carefully record every checkup, diagnosis, procedure, and so on. A lot of doctors choose Microsoft Access to track their reporting because it's easy to learn. But doctors aren't always at the same computer or on the same network day in and day out.

Dr. Michael Scholin found himself in a similar situation a few years back. He's a doctor of audiology who works in IntraOperative Neurophysiological Monitoring (IONM). His company, US Monitoring, LLC, monitors certain neurological functions of the central or peripheral nervous system during surgical procedures.

Mike (yes, he prefers to be called Mike, not Dr. Scholin) used Access in the past for medical reporting, but in this field of medicine, technicians and surgeons aren't all located in one place. He needed to develop a Web application that could be accessed on any computer that would speed up and standardize the reporting process post surgery.

Using Alpha Five, Mike built his application USMON. It lets medical technicians enter patient data, testing data, and results in a standardized format. This then lets Mike create a reporting system that easily generates professional medical reports.

Since USMON's inception, it's only grown in popularity in the IONM community. Mike's about to release USMON Pro 2. It takes advantage of the Alpha Five Version 10.5 feature packs, external integration with Web services support and Javascript add-ons, such as scheduling, chat functions, and more.

I found out about Mike's app from Alpha developer Bob Moore. Mike purchased Bob's calendar program and helped him interface it with USMON Pro 2. Bob told me about what Mike was building and it piqued my interest. So I gave him a call one Saturday morning to find out more.

Impressed with what he built, I asked Melissa, the voice of the Alpha Software podcasts, to interview him for a podcast. She hopped on the phone with Mike to talk about his progression from doctor to developer.

Mike goes into more detail about his profession to tell Melissa the story behind his application. Melissa also asks Mike why he chose to use Alpha Five and not another platform, how USMON Pro 2 is able to comply with HIPAA regulations, and much more.

Flip your speakers on and listen to the podcast. If you don't have time to listen to the whole interview, I'll be posting the transcript shortly.

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