Today David Blumenthal, Aneesh Chopra and other government and private sector worthies somehow held a press conference in DC despite the big freeze. It was to announce the first successful use of The Direct Project. Formerly called NHIN Direct, the idea behind The Direct Project is that providers–especially those outside of the large systems that are plugged into the perpetually emerging HIEs, can send secure messages containing patient information to each other and to patients. Imagine you're moving from New York to San Diego–this way your records could be sent securely and electronically essentially as an email attachment from one doc to another. If this works it is, in the Vice-President's words, a Big F–ing Deal; it will mean that doctors and patients can routinely exchange information that today is communicated in one tech CEO's words only by paper aeroplane. So today on THCB we're printing a very detailed article by two of the vendor representatives who've been working behind the scenes to make this happen.