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A Talk a Day to Keep me Inspired and Learning

October 26, 2011

So since starting this Blog, I’ve been seriously neglecting it. I have a number of post ideas that I’ve started but not felt ready to finish. In addition to needing topics for this, I need and want to be learning more, so I’ve decided to give myself a new goal of watching or listening to some type of talk/webcast/podcast everyday. Since I have a smart phone, I really have no excuse for not being able to do this each day. I initially planned to watch a Ted Talk everyday, but I’d like to explore other things as well, such as online lectures, new podcasts, content. I’ll happily take suggestions for things to watch.

As I’m looking at getting back into Health Care IT work, I thought I’d start with a related talk. Today I watched Daniel Kraft’s Talk, “Medicine’s future? There’s an app for that”. In the talk, Kraft talks about how technology is changing medicine and where it might be taking us. He discusses many recent developments and inventions as well as what we might see in the not so distant future. It’s amazing to see the speed at which advancements are happening. While watching, I started to think a lot about the patient-doctor relationship. Kraft speaks briefly about the potential to improve the amount of time doctors spend with patients and increase communication but his talk is mostly on devices, information, and indirect contact. His talk can be viewed at the link below. It’s a fast paced talk with a lot of interesting information. I recommend it if you are interested in technology or healthcare.

My mother was a surgeon, and I believe one of the reasons she was successful was her ability to truly connect with patients. Even though surgery is not necessarily a field where a patient will have a long-term relationship with his physician, from what I saw, my mom’s patients felt truly cared for while under my mom’s care. Whenever running errands with her, she would be stopped by former patients who wanted to say hi and thank her. Additionally, I often would wait in the doctor’s lounge for my mom as a child while she made rounds. Usually she said it would take a half hour to an hour, and it always took much longer. This is likely because she took the time to talk with each of her patients and their families and make sure all of their questions were answered, and they felt comfortable (or as comfortable as possible given the situation).

Technology has the potential to truly change healthcare. As heath care technology continues to advance, it is critical that we not only focus on gathering information and the bottom line, but also finding ways to improve the doctor-patient relationship and not hurt it. In many industries, human interaction is almost entirely removed (banking, retail, etc), but as “care” is an essential part of health care, it cannot be removed from heath care.

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