Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

If only Steve Jobs was a medical doctor.

April 1, 2012

We clearly lost Steve Jobs too soon. He is the only person I can think of that may have reformed the health care profession the way he reformed the personal computer industry, the animation industry, the music industry, the phone industry, the photography industry, the book industry, and eventually the TV industry. He was a visionary which is something completely lacking in all the health care debate that has been going on as long as I can remember.

Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson

I know there are some good ideas out there. In fact there are probably some great ideas out there. But what we need is someone who can move the ball forward on the playing field, not just come up with new plays. We have lot’s of coaches, but very few players who excel on the health care field.

As the Supreme Court toys with the idea of scrapping healthcare reform altogether, I can not get too upset about it. The only thing I really liked about it was the fact that young adults could be covered up to age 26. Not that the coverage is good but since medical school students do not graduate until age 25 at the earliest, this meant we were dropping our future doctors from having health coverage while asking them to run up six figure education bills so they can take care of us. And then we want them to be kind and considerate to us and not about the money when we won’t even provide them with healthcare during their training?

But other than increasing the age of coverage, I can’t really see anything in healthcare reform I would miss. Most of the reform just mandates more people be covered by an already existing terrible healthcare system. That’s not reform, that’s just expansion.

And as far as electronic health records which we hear so much about, they were coming with or without reform. But the fact is that the currently available software for health records is as bad as software gets. Most of these systems have been around for years and resold several times to bigger and bigger companies that just want more market share without looking to improve the product. While some of these products have been written for Apple computers they clearly got a free pass on quality that is normally Apple’s trademark. If Steve Jobs looked at any of these systems he would have one of his classic fits and call them what they are ” a piece of s**t”. But he never got around to healthcare software and so we are left the dregs of the software pot so to speak.

Really, ask any doctor you know how he likes his electronic medical record and you will never see even a flicker of excitement in their eyes. But ask them about their iPhone or iPad and ….. well, you better have a few moments to kill while they go wild with enthusiasm. There’s no reason we can’t bring that to electronic medical records too. We just need a leader.

Steve, if only you had gone to medical school we could have real healthcare reform. I know you could have done it. Who will it be now?

Sal Imperiale, MD