Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Microsoft Research: Xbox 360s Could Be Used In Hospitals Microsoft Research Imagines Xbox 360s Being Used For Medical Records, Gaming

So Microsoft doesn't want Xbox 360s in the hands of the US military, but
they don't mind if hospitals start using them for non-gaming purposes. A
report out of 'Microsoft Research' says that the research arm of
Microsoft is currently working on applications for Xbox 360s in
hospitals. They could be used for file servers and other non-gaming
applications.
Per the report on Yahoo! News, Microsoft Research found that the $250
gaming consoles are cheaper than many standalone medical-enterprise
aimed computers for the amount of processing horsepower that that
five-year old console can put out. I find this a bit dubious at best,
but granted, I'm not familiar with all the latest updates in the
hospital IT world.
Microsoft Research imagines an Xbox 360 in every hospital room. It would
be able to show medical records and x-ray images to the patients, as
well as displaying messages from doctors. But the researchers aren't
totally draconian, they also imagine that the Xbox 360s could act as a
web browser or game machine for bed-ridden patients.
Project Natal, Microsoft's long-rumored Wii-like motion control scheme
could even be used for providing entertainment for patients who can't
grasp a controller or type on a keyboard. I reckon they'd still have to
hold the Natal-mote or whatever the motion control instrument will be
called.
I still find it hard to believe that there isn't a cheaper solution for
providing in-room computers in a hospital environment, and if there
wasn't, still, it'll take a fair bit to get these Xbox 360s ready for
such a solution. Maybe Microsoft Research is just trying to sell consoles.
At any rate, no word on if Microsoft is actually pursuing this or not.
The team from Microsoft Research was speaking at a health-care IT
conference in China.
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