Medicine’s Emerging Digital Culture


I suspect that we’ll see a real digital culture emerge surrounding doctors and medicine.  One centered on a new mindset and workflow, created with new tools.  At one point we were only seen in fluorescent lit offices with stethoscopes.  The AMA and the public affairs messengers in our local hospital decided what we understood about doctors.

Not any more.  We are all publishers.  The world sees us for what we are.  Fertile, brilliant, edgy and human in the way we think about health and medicine.  Everything you understand about what we do and how we can get it done will be different.  New tools and a new set of platforms will define us.

Look at Matt & Mike of Ultrasound Podcast.  A space for ER ultrasound, they build, create and ideate, with an unrestrained flair.  Audio, e-books and, human jpgs, and real writing showcase a new place to center a medical conversation for this corner of medicine.  This is not institutional medicine.  While young academics, what they do is not academics by traditional measures.  This is not ‘private practice.’  Those are one dimensional 20th century views of who we are and what we’re capable of.

This nascent digital culture is invisible to the analog majority stuck at web 1.0 with the belief that email is the killer app.  While what we can do and make is nearly unlimited, the majority among us complain about all that they can’t do and all that the system won’t give them.  Soon these tired souls will serve as a cautionary tale.

“But how do we get doctors to change?” you whine.  As Esther Dyson suggested at Medicine X a few weeks ago, the progress of medicine will happen one retirement at a time.

Technology has created the foundation.  A spirit to build and create with amazing tools will complete the act.

This couldn’t have happened at any other point in time.