I recently came across an article about Enlitic, a company that uses an algorithm to determine pathology based on a database of past patients. Considering that I’m a technology enthusiast, I was pretty excited about the potential power of Enlitic. I found myself thinking about how new innovations have been revolutionizing the field; with technologies like CT, MRI, 3D printing, and brain computer interfacing, medicine has made extraordinary strides. While we have technology that plays an integral role in evaluating patients, I’ve noticed that we lack it in areas that would aid physicians in optimizing time management.
We all know about the excessive amounts of paperwork that plagues medical professionals, so where is the technology that makes this as painless as possible? While EMR and EHR software do exist, the adoption rate is nowhere near ubiquitous and many of them have not had positive reviews. I hear stories about the painstaking process of reading patient records: indecipherable doctor’s notes, scanned documents, and confusing software interfaces. Some of my resident friends tell me about how they have to use a remote desktop to access patient records at home. With the mobile tech boom, I wonder why major players like Google, Apple and Samsung have not entered the medical arena with apps and software that could streamline and innovate the process of generating and accessing patient records.
I can envision a future where speech to text technology is broadly used to generate an accurate rendition of patient complaints. A software that provides electronic templates for generating patient notes and electronic templates for scoring tests and ordering tests that automatically updates and syncs. Apps that provide clean, quick, and easy access to patient records on mobile and tablet devices would save time and frustration. I could see how a modified version of Pushbullet (an app available on nearly every platform) could be used as an alternative means of communicating and sending information quickly between computers, mobile devices, and tablets. So why haven’t we seen giants like Google entering the healthcare area? Last year, Sergey Brin and Larry Page (co-founders of Google) were asked this very question; their response was: “Generally, health is just so heavily regulated. It’s just a painful business to be in. It’s just not necessarily how I want to spend my time.”
To me, this is frustrating. Technology has revolutionized the way we communicate with each other, the way we generate data, and the way we organize and access that data. We should not be deterring entrepreneurs from entering the medical area—we should be inviting them with open arms.