The heart of the IT dilemma in Medicine

Healthcare is an area which is slow to adopt digital technology in its everyday tasks. Comparatively, areas like banking and the airline industry have long adopted digitisation and a cloud environment in its infrastructure. One may ask why?

The answer is fairly simple if you think about it. Medical education.

Medical education is stuck in a twilight zone, where teaching methods have hardly budged over the decades. Believing the saying that “you do not fix what is not broken” or “That’s how I’ve learnt it!’ is prevalent in the medical fraternity. Therefore, trying to infuse new technologies in the hospitals today are met with firm resistance. Doctors are just not trained to be comfortable using a computer in patient-doctor interactions. They are not trained to use e-prescription in their medical schools. In fact, pen and paper continues to rule in most medical schools.

Even primary students are being exposed to new classroom technologies using apps and digitization to its fullest potential to enhance learning. This mantra needs to be adopted by medical schools if we are to achieve the potential of digital technologies in healthcare.

Submerging medical students in an environment which utilizes IT will only enhance its use in their future medical careers. In the same vein, hospitals have to plan ahead and be wary of the changing times in healthcare. Patient centric approaches and preventive medicine will be prominent in the coming decade and thus formulating and adopting technologies that assist this will only be wise.