Big Doctor Data


I recently gave Grand Rounds to the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.  Here’s what was going through my head as I looked out over the podium: ‘Just imagine what’s out there.’  Not the people, necessarily, but what they know.

Imagine if we could harness that knowledge and wisdom.  And what would it be like if we could package, tag, and archive all of that understanding on the web.  Clinical wisdom, procedural pearls, solutions, opinions, unusual patterns, unique cases, hard-learned lessons, and even simple stories.  It could take the form of video, audio, images, or boluses of curated content.  We could then make it retrievable by patients and students of the next generation.  That would be remarkable.

It could be like big data.  Big doctor data.

What we know and understand should be seen as a gift.  As doctors we don’t know that we have the ability to capture our wisdom.  We don’t understand how we can do it.  We can’t even see the power of it.  But I wonder if we understood would we then feel obligated to participate?

I suspect we might.