Sunday, September 1, 2013

Who Will Do Well in A Digitized  Health Reform Era?

The devices and connectivity so essential to modern life put unprecedented power in the hands of every individual - a radical redistribution of power that our traditional institutions  don't or can't understand.

Nicco Mele, The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath, Mcmillan, 2013
Increasingly, machines are providing not only the brawn but the brains, to, and that raises the question of where humans fit into this picture – who will prosper and who won’t in this new machine economy?
Tyler Cowen,  professor of economics at George Mason University, “Who Will Prosper in the New World?" New York Times, September 1, 2013

In a New York Times essay,  professor Cowen lists these people as progressing or receding in a computer-driven age.
He says those prospering will include: The conscientious grinding away on online courses, people who follow online instructions,   gifted marketers who combine a marketing touch with technical skills,  motivators  who can coach others to do well.
Those who will not do as well include:   people with delicate feelings who are not open to computer-driven suggestions,  people who neglect the computer as a source of health information,  people who have a libertarian world view, and  political radicals  who look abroad for jobs and inspiration.
After reading these two lists,  I came up with my list of individual physicians who I think will do well.
1.       Young geeks who cut their teeth on computer-driven care and feel comfortable with it.

2.      Specialists whose incomes depend on images and skills that computers cannot replicate, e.g. radiologists, dermatologists, and anesthesiologists.

3.      Those who develop technologies  that can accurately predict development, presence, and consequences of disease – chances of hospitalization, disability  and death.

4.       Humanists skilled in computers who know how to leverage technologies to capture and hold attention of patients.

5.       Patient-engagers who know how to use voice recognition technologies to talk to patients and to document and share  their findings with patients.

6.       Doctors who use computer-interviewing  programs in which patients do the bulk of the data entry.

7.      Virtualists who employ telemedicine to interview patients and record patient generated smartphone data to inform patients of the state of their diseases.

8.      Grinders who use continuing  online education to advance their skills and stay on top of their fields.

9.      Telecommuters who use computers to do most of their work at home are outside of hospital settings in decentralized locations.

10.  Marketers who know how to mobilize physicians and patients into groups held together by a mutual interest in connecting social media technologies.

Tweet:   Physicians of the future will have to master computer technology  and human engagement,  marketing, and management  skills to succeed.

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