Healthcare and IT are both really keen and simultaneously reluctant bedfellows. It is well known that there is a huge push towards the use of IT and electronic data in healthcare, highlighted by the push for electronic medical records and of advanced IT systems that can be used to centrally manage patient information and share it appropriately to those who need to know while simultaneously protecting patent privacy.
But while there is this huge desire to make use of information technology to provide better record keeping and more complete information, there is a corresponding reluctance to trust what is inherently a human service to an automated system. Nevertheless, with the current crisis in healthcare and healthcare costs in the US, the need for reform and the need to find good automation solutions to cut costs is very real.
The result is that IT professional and medical professionals find themselves working together toward solutions while by and large remaining relatively ignorant about their two separate fields. There are vanishingly few MDs who also understand technology, development and how to build systems. And there are vanishingly few developers who understand medicine or even how healthcare operates as a business.
There are groups doing their best to break through these barriers and many of them are right here in the Bay Area. And if you want a front row seat and even the chance to meet with and influence some of these people, you should come to the 2011 Healthcare and Technology Mingle Jingle. It is being held all day on December the 8th and there are panels, demonstrations, discussions and a reception. You can find out more here.
But even if you don’t want to or can’t attend you can still participate. How? By providing me with questions and comments for the panel session called ‘Diagnosing Health Tech: A Round-table Smackdown Discussion by Tech-Savvy Physicians.’ Just leave your question in the comments.