While the impact of digital in health care is not new nor limited to a week, this is a chance to reflect upon the changes and new opportunities coming our way.
Over the last few years, entire hospitals have gone paperless and large swaths of digital imaging is filmless. Electronic medical records (EMRs) are increasingly commonplace in primary care, and telemedicine is growing in rural and urban settings. Even the stethoscope has gone digital.
Outside of the health system, we have handheld apps and wearables that can chart and log various aspects of our personal health — some promising to help diagnosis or suggest treatments.
This steady shift holds a strong potential to improve the quality of health care. Like most people, I support new technologies — although I can’t always claim to be an early adopter. However, I think we should temper enthusiasm with a degree of caution and be open to learning from some of the challenges to date.