Is there a generational tech divide in medicine? And is that the main problem?

Jay Parkinson recently wrote a post responding to a question raised by Atul Gawande: Can technology be a change agent for health care? Jay’s answer focused on the generational tech divide in medicine today. One quote:

“Many of the most influential doctors practicing medicine today have an antagonistic relationship with computers. Change will only come in a massive way when the under-40 generation takes control.”

I tweeted his post, followed by a link to an essay I wrote about my grandmother, who grasped the potential of the Web immediately — at age 85 — and was a daily internet user until she died, more than a decade later. She is an example of someone who defied generational generalizations, to say the least. Continue reading

Peer-to-peer health care is a slow idea that will change the world

Someone recently asked me to name the most exciting innovation in health care today. I think he was hoping for a sexy technology tip, like an app that’s catching fire in the expert patient communities I follow.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the most exciting innovation of the connected health era is…people talking with each other. Continue reading

Never assume that what you are seeing or experiencing is everyone else’s reality.

Atul Gawande can shine a bright spotlight, even with just a few tweets. On Saturday he linked to an article about new social media guidelines for physicians which states:

Aside from not “friending” patients [on Facebook], the guidelines also recommend the following to physicians:

• Don’t use text messaging for medical interactions, even with established patients, except with caution and the patient’s consent. Continue reading