The PC and then the Internet technology revolutions disrupted nearly every industry. Sectors like travel, bookstores, and even mapmaking were turned on their heads. But one industry has been impervious to technology reengineering. Healthcare providers have been largely intransigent in their resistance to adoption of information technology solutions that could enhance care, provide transparency of information, and support better physician-patient communication. Conventional wisdom held that doctors were by nature technology laggards.
But maybe they were simply waiting for the right technology.
A new study shows that 75% of physicians now own an Apple device. Doctors who at best would hunt and peck a PC keyboard are now swiping and swishing their way through medical information databases, patient records, and therapy 3D animations for their patients. They are integrating iPads into electronic medical records to prove “meaningful use” and reviewing health apps to recommend. Apple has even announced a new section of the AppStore called Apps for Healthcare Professionals.
The latest crop of user-focused technology companies such as Apple, Google, and Facebook are all providing easy-to-use application platforms. Now is a very exciting time for entrepreneurs in every industry sector to begin building new consumer and B2B solutions on top of these platforms. Unlike the past thirty years when every new application or device required a users manual or training class, these new web, mobile and social media platforms are intuitive “out of the box.” It provides a unique opportunity to once again reengineer an industry.
If doctors were slow to embrace new ideas or new solutions, perhaps they have simply been waiting for the right idea or the right technology platform.