Crisis Drives Change
In 2001 this writer approached the Houston medical community, post tropical storm Allison which flooded many basements in the Houston Medical Center with the loss of experimental data and other records. We proposed the development of an Internet based solution to hold and manage medical records of all types. The response to my organization’s offer to digitize records was met with disbelief and ultimate rebuke.
At the time I was employed by a major corporation with the technology and financial resources to accomplish this task. Sales Objections included privacy, doctors will not ‘buy in,’ insurance will not pay for it and a host of other lame excuses.
Flash forward to 2020. Why are thing so different now and the idea of ‘digitalization’ almost universally accepted?
Twenty years is a career for many, yet it took a crisis this year to kick the medical sector into action at critical mass—Coronavirus, aka Covid-19. As often the case large organizations are content to stay with the status quo. Culture, processes, and even individual bonuses incent lethargy and complacency. This common trait is not limited to one sector.
Moreover, advances in online telemetry support the physician’s ability to treat many aliments remotely. The industry did not just ‘jump’ to the current state, it evolved over time. For example, remote and inaccessible areas such as Antarctica have taken advantage of telemedicine including remotely directed surgeries.
We may look back on 2020 as the seminal moment when medicine was digitalized. Despite current access issues such as we are finding with K-12 education, most will have the ability to interact online in the near future. Moreover, a number of COTS (commercial off the shelf) health solutions such as found in a variety of Smart phone products enable remote diagnosis and monitoring on a global basis.
The catalyst for taking telemedicine to the next level is Covid-19! A good Positive.
How is your organization taking advantage of remote operational technologies?
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