What should IT be in healthcare?

The embrace of digital technology is slow in the healthcare industry. Comparatively, industries like aviation and banking have long maximized the benefits of digitisation. This has allowed us to manage our banking accounts or our flight bookings, just with a click of the mouse. This ‘vision’ can be adopted in healthcare, however, it is not as simple.

I have long believed that in order for the future medical practice to fully utilize digital technology, medical education needs to be overhauled. The conventional way of teaching medicine has to change. The adage of “Do not fix what is not broken” should no longer be adhered to, if we are to move quickly forward.

Just the other day, I was introduced to 3D children’s books. I was amazed at the app which brings a 2D image to life, much to the amazement of children and adults alike. Why can’t we use this in medical education? There have been early adopters in some medical schools but we need all medical schools to follow suit if we are to ensure that the entire healthcare industry is on the same page.

IT is not just putting some digital text online. It is about maximizing the power of digitization in making information interactive, meaningful and engaging. This will make learning more efficient, yet fun. Gone should be the days when we learn anatomy from lengthy paragraphs and grainy images, often relying on our powers of imagination to reconstruct the passage. Imagine learning biochemistry using digital animation. I would probably remember more than I can now!

IT should be innovative, intuitive, adaptive and progressive. It should assist, not hinder the daily processes. The future is bright, and the investments in that future starts today.