Fred Trotter

Fred shapes our software development and data gathering strategies, which doesn't stop him from getting elbow-deep in the code on a regular basis. He is co-author of the first Health IT O’Reilly book Hacking Healthcare, and co-creator of the DIRECT protocol mandated in Meaningful Use. Fred’s technical commentary and data journalism work has been featured in several online and print journals including Wired, Forbes, U.S. News, NPR, Government Health IT, and Modern Healthcare.

Software crumple zones

By Fred Trotter / August 11, 2012

It’s time to recognize and appreciate highly engineered health information systems. Have you had an auto mechanic look at your wrecked car and sigh, “they just don’t make them like they used to”? Darn right they don’t make them like they used to. Old cars were much better about surviving wrecks, but at the expense…

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Who owns patient data? Look inside health data access and you’ll see why “ownership” is inadequate for patient information.

By Fred Trotter / June 6, 2012

Who owns a patient’s health information? The patient to whom it refers? The health provider that created it? The IT specialist who has the greatest control over it? The notion of ownership is inadequate for health information. For instance, no one has an absolute right to destroy health information. But we all understand what it…

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Left and right and wrong Political and process disconnects show up everywhere, including health IT.

By Fred Trotter / March 15, 2012

Sometimes I find a picture or a blog post that leaps off the screen at me and says “your readers must see this as it applies to health IT.” Normal Modes, a solid UX company based in Houston, sends me fairly good UX tips on a regular business. The last one featured this photo (used…

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AI will eventually drive healthcare, but not anytime soon

By Fred Trotter / January 25, 2012

TechCrunch recently published a guest post from Vinod Khosla with the headline “Do We Need Doctors or Algorithms?“. Khosla is an investor and engineer, but he is a little outside his depth on some of his conclusions about health IT. Let me concede and endorse his main point that doctors will become bionic clinicians by…

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The rise of programmable self

By Fred Trotter / January 11, 2012

Quantifying your changes + motivational hacks = programmable self. Programmable self is a riff on the Quantified Self (QS). It is a simple concept: Quantify what you want to change about yourself + motivational hacks = personal change success. There are several potential “motivation hacks” that people regularly employ. The simplest of these is peer…

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Are EHRs Safe?

By Fred Trotter / January 9, 2012

Electronic health records are fundamentally dangerous. They’re also safer than the current model. Are electronic health records (EHR) safe? No. EHRs are not safe. They are fundamentally and irreparably dangerous even during normal use. EHRs will kill people. Lots of people. EHRs have been killing people for years. They will kill even more people as…

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Epatients: The hackers of the healthcare world

By Fred Trotter / January 5, 2012

I help build open source software tools that patients can use to have greater control and influence over their own healthcare (like the Direct Project and Your Doctors Advice). As as result, I’ve become quite familiar with other tools that do the same sorts of things. There is a community of patients who are deeply…

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Programmable Self Reading List

By Fred Trotter / May 26, 2011

I am preparing for my talk at Quantified Self about my work on Programmable Self. I was asked to make a “reading list” for the people who were interested in this subject so I wanted to create that here. Please add links in my comments section for titles that I have omitted!! Requirements for inclusion…

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Open Letter to the tiger team

By Fred Trotter / June 10, 2010

This is an open letter to the tiger team from HIT Policy Committee as well as the committee generally. Recently a group from HITPC gave recommendations to the NHIN Direct project regarding which protocol it should choose. I realized as I heard the comments there, that this group was reading the NHIN Direct Security and…

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The Burden of Trust

By Fred Trotter / May 24, 2010

I am a vocal participant on the NHIN Direct Security and Trust working group. Its a perfect place for me. I love Open Source healthcare, but my background was in InfoSec… and we never really forget our first love.. do we? At the NHIN Direct Security and Trust workgroup, I get to exercise all of…

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