One of the greatest sources of innovation in medical informatics today is the U.S. military
One of the greatest sources of innovation in medical informatics today is the U.S. military. A quick read of the latest DOD Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program announcement (http://www.acq.osd.mil/sadbu/sbir/solicitations/sbir052/index.htm) reveals a call for technological solutions to problems ranging from training medics in the field to extracting wounded soldiers with unmanned autonomous vehicles. Given that the focus of the SBIR program is to get technologies into the hands of the general population, it's only a matter of time before these next-generation technologies will be available to clinicians. However, most clinicians are ill-prepared to accept even the current push for a ubiquitous electronic medical record. The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) has decided to address this latter challenge through its 10 x 10 program (10,000 physicians trained in informatics by 2010). While this initiative is laudatory in that it addresses a real need, the enormity of the task and the timeline suggest that training clinicians on even more advanced technologies may be untenable - that is, unless innovative education technologies are used to train overextended clinicians. Customized training through technologies such as intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) is one possible solution, but these systems aren't yet mature enough to handle the task.