August 18, 2010

Tom Sullivan, M.D.

Is the mobile internet and the smartphone a “killer combination” and stealth WMD? Part 3 of 3

As I reflect on the rapid evolution of information and communication technology, not only in our worldwide civil societies, but even in what we might describe as “uncivil” societies, I realize that at least in healthcare this has almost become a revolution.
It is not violent in the form that induced Marinetti to eventually support Mussolini and Fascism in pre-war Italy’s 1930s and early 1940s, but its speed and disruptive nature have foreshadowed and accelerated the virtual destruction of libraries and museums.
When I can do an instantaneous search online for every image or video of the visual arts and all important handwritten or printed hardcopy material, not to mention music…why would I need to support a library or museum? … (a rhetorical question since I hope the reader knows the answer lies in the nature of the human condition).
Is the mobile internet and the smartphone a “killer combination” and stealth WMD?
In any case, we are living in a wonderful age where patient care has been enhanced immeasurably with the IT tools we are seeing now and it will continue in this positive, though very disruptive trend for years into the future.
We can celebrate the vision and insight of Marinetti without embracing his excess, always mindful of George Santayana’s 1905 epigram:
“Those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.”

About Tom Sullivan, M.D.

Thomas E. Sullivan, M.D is a board-certified specialist in cardiology and internal medicine with over 40 years of clinical practice. He currently works for DrFirst and sees patients part-time in Massachusetts. His expertise in the application of information technology to health care has helped to create an international standard (ASTM) for the exchange of medical record information called the Continuity of Care Record (CCR). With AMA, he was founding chair of their e-Medicine Advisory Committee, worked with the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, represented the AMA and helped create the Physician EHR Coalition and is past chair of the AMA Council on Medical Service.