In the health and wellness fields, technology has streamlined recording and accessing information for both consumers and caregivers. Andrew Thresher '04 and Sanjay Uttam '03 are putting their technology education and skills to work at companies involved with very different services. Thresher is the server administrator for Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence, RI, in the top percent of hospitals in the US adopting and using an electronic medical record (EMR) system, according to Thresher.
Through EMR systems, patients' medical records are scanned into a computer, making information available to other medical facilities and offices via the internet. Roger Williams also uses mobile computers to scan patients' identification bracelets to ensure the right medications are dispensed to the right patients. Physicians can enter patient orders directly into their center's computer system via a laptop, tablet or iPad. "There's less room for error; less room for giving someone the wrong meds," Thresher says of the technology.
Thresher designs, installs and maintains servers, data security, cost justification, print services and anti-virus software in the center's state-of-the-art information systems. He also installs and maintains support for users and network administrators for St. Joseph Health Services, Southern New England Rehabilitation Center and our Lady of Fatima Hospital, now affiliated with Roger Williams.
"Health care is something that's always going to be there. It's just a matter of rolling with the times and changing what you need to change but i think there will always be opportunities," says Thresher, glad he's working in the high-demand medical field.
Uttam is senior software engineer for Everyday Health at its corporate office in Manhattan, NY The company is home to 20 health and wellness websites that reach 30 million visitors a month. He's part of a group of software engineers responsible for programming, writing and developing new applications for the sites, and constantly making sure they're in good working order.
About half the sites are typical free internet models drawing revenues from advertisements. Information and tools include a drug compendium, an index of doctors by geographic areas and a "symptom checker." Customers have to pay to use the other half. Such sites as southbeachdiet.com include advice from Dr. Arthur Agatston, author of "The South Beach Diet," offering diet tips, recipes and more.
Uttam's work is on the former group of sites containing close to 40,000 pages of content. What he likes most is writing software available by way of the internet. "There are a lot more challenges just because of the sheer number of people using the websites," he says.