Sometimes I believe I should change the name of my blog to Health Rocket Express. Advances are proceeding at such a rapid rate that my Health Train cannot keep up with all the issues, social, technical, patient care, research, patient advocacy and more. Far cry from my days as a very focused ophthalmologist. I find the new age just as exciting as it was when I took out my first cataract or corneal transplant surgery.
Technology changes in healthcare and medicine,as well as health information technology parallel advances in internet, video streaming, social media networks, wireless technology,
All of these technologies come at us simultaneously and compete for our attention. What to adopt? Will it be obsolete next year, and/or replaced by another advance? Rapid advances in imaging techniques with MRI, PET Scans, Minimally invasive surgery in cardiology, abdominal surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery.
Witness the transition and battle between Google Plus and Facebook. A single social presence is not tenable at this point. Sermo has become a central focus for physician discussions. Some of it is purely social, but there is a great deal of clinical information exchange.
You may say, who needs it? My answer is “Build it, and They will come” much like “Field of Dreams”, we are at the point where many of our dreams are here, now.
Social networking increases our power to communicate, not just in health issues, but politically as well. We can be heard..en masse. Most politicians now have a social media presence with a dedicated social media staff. It can’t get much more democratic that Twitter, Google Plus or Facebook. Aside from patient care and HIPAA restrictions there is so much to do with these platforms it is as revolutionary as the telephone or even the PC revolution which made it all possible. All of the aforementioned platforms have mobile applications on Android, iOS, and Windows 7 phones.
All of this innovation comes simultaneously with proposed massive changes in health care delivery. This has created a stimulus for communications between providers, organizations, congress, consultants, and pundits. We can certainly have our interests and opinions fairly presented, as organized medicine and even more important as individuals not aligned with political action committees and/or the influence and corrupting power of campaign donations.
I urge all of you to use the new media to express your opinions.