The Digital Revolution: A Healthy Dose of Empowerment

Better. Faster. Safer.
These are the core messages of almost every pharmaceutical product.  Better efficacy, faster action and a safer result all drive clinical acceptance and use.  It’s a manufacturer’s dream and a sales representative’s golden opportunity.

But in today’s digital world, information itself can now make the robust claim of better, faster and safer!  And it’s this dynamic emergence of knowledge and delivery that is poised to change the healthcare world into a richer and more powerful force in our lives.  And with this change comes empowerment.  All the stakeholders—from physician to caregiver—will have the tools to change the path of disease and wellness.

BETTER:  The failure of education in healthcare is central to many core issues that plague the world today.  And if knowledge is power, the emergence of digital communication can result in a vast array of information delivered with the appeal of a popular video game or the engagement of a sitcom.  And the “all-knowing” physician is no longer just the person standing beside you in an examination room—technology brings you the brilliant Harvard professor or the compassionate Spanish translator to directly communicate, educate and inspire!  IBM and Watson are leading the way to a smarter planet.  And where does this innovation take shape?  On the television show Jeopardy!  See, it’s already happening…

FASTER:  The diffusion of a great idea takes time.  Even for advances such as identifying the role of helicobacter pylori in the etiology of ulcers, awareness and acceptance took time.  The digital world, in part, increases the diffusion of these ideas and drives engagement.  The magic bullet of innovation just might be a simple 140 character tweet that transverses the globe in a matter of seconds.  Further, social networks now provide a “crucible of thought” where ideas and concepts rapidly take shape.  Overnight success (and failure) is yesterday’s velocity.  Today, innovation is truly at the speed of life.

SAFER:  The result of improvement in digitally based education and knowledge, combined with improved connectivity and speed, provide enhancements to medicine that, simply put, save lives.  Digital communication leverages multiple senses and learning tools to significantly enhance the ability of a healthcare provider to learn and teach.  And essential information collection, updates and warnings are now communicated more effectively.  Interestingly, Twitter is emerging as a potential tool to track flu outbreaks in real time!

The value of our digital revolution to healthcare is almost immeasurable.  Currently, innovations outpace applications and the future seems redefined almost on a daily bases.  But out of this creative chaos will emerge a profound transformation of healthcare that will make the vision of Star Trek and Fantastic Voyage seem almost mundane.


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