The "New" Medicine

Medical technology systems are the future of medicine. Tablet PCs in the doctors office will become the norm, portable medical identification in the form of ATM-cards, computer chips or key rings will be the new companion for patients, and websites will become a significant communication medium between physician and patient. I think this future is inevitable, and although it might seem wasteful at first, I think it is the best thing that could ever happen to health care.
As it stands, most staff in a medical office are administrative, organizing, recording, re-recording and communication records and notes. At the Emergency Room, it is unlikely that a hospital will have any records at all for you as a patient when you roll in. What medicines are you taking, what threats to your health did your primary physician observe during your last visit, what potential hazards do you possess within your complex anatomy? If you are extremely well-versed in your own health, fully conscious and possessive of a strong memory you can share all these answers with the attending Emergency Room physician. But then, if all these things were in place, why would you be there anyway? The truth is, there needs to be a seamless system of communication between professionals who are already dedicated to a community’s health and well being. That system is coming and it is needed immediately. “America is No. 1 in terms of health care expenditures - a total of $1.8 trillion last year and rising at a rate more than twice as fast as our incomes – yet it ranked no better than 16th in a study of 22 industrialized countries in what medical professionals call outcomes” (TIME Magazine June 27, 2005). I am not sure what role I will have in this, but as I read this article I became very excited about the possibilities. As a part of the younger generation, computers are everything and nothing to me. I hold my computer as one of my most prized possessions, while often not thinking twice about the fact that its very existence is only 15 years old. Our parents and the leaders in our world are just beginning to grasp all of the powers of world communication and high speed technology. By all rights, we are each marksmen with bows who can hit the bulls-eye every time standing in a crowd of veterans who are throwing arrows while trying to accomplish the same thing. We are inheriting a world of responsibility and greatness and barely know our own strength. I think it will be a great excitement to watch it unfold.