This article was written on 20 Feb 2014, and is filled under Volume 18 Number 1.

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Future Column – v201401

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Future Thoughts Now Column

by Scott Erdley

Senior Editor


Erdley, S. (2014). Future Column – v201401. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 18(1), Available at  http://ojni.org/issues/?p=3079


Future Thoughts Now ColumnIt is all about the future. What is ‘it’? Speculation by pundits and would-be futurists, that is. If you think about it the future is tantalizingly close, mere milliseconds in front of us, constantly morphing into the present even as we look for the future. Anyway, more to the point of this exposition, the future of healthcare is a lot farther off and yet closer than ever. Case in example – Dr. Bertalan Meskó, MD, PhD, a young Hungarian physician, of increasing import among up & coming physicians and healthcare professionals, looking ahead to see what should be included in the patient-focused future.

He has authored a recent publication (Social Media in Clinical Practice), author of the site ‘Webcina’ (a curated website of healthcare topics for patients and professionals) as well as a published white paper title “The guide to the future of medicine: Bringing disruptive technologies to medicine & healthcare. His view of the future clearly and intimately includes technology, in its many forms, and how the technology is applied to patient care. He has numerous presentations to a variety of healthcare professionals; and each presentation addresses the use of technology for patient care in the now, near future, and far future. Bertalan believes in the use of social media for education as well as care. He is an avid tweeter and retweeter. Just search for him on Twitter to follow his very interesting and intriguing postings.

Then there is the TED series called Ted Talks (www.ted.com). This non-profit organization addresses a plethora of topics including healthcare. Presenters are restricted to 15 minutes for their presentation. Talks have addressed topics ranging from organ donation, organ recreation, printing organs to robotics and patient care. Most, if not all talks, are video recorded; one can search on pretty much any topic including the future.

And finally there are the many yearly conferences and or exhibitions by technology companies and or multiple vendors displaying their ‘latest and greatest’ technology. Apple’s yearly conferences always generate a buzz among the faithful. The CES generates its own buzz among techies and consumer techies. Some of the technologies offered do in fact catch on. Many, though, do not. Even Apple, with its strong stock and innovative track record, has stumbled (see Newton).

It is not about the technology, though, it is about the human use of these assorted tools. And for us, as health providers, more importantly it is about these tools and patient care. And so one can ask, what’s in your future? And so the New Year goes – the future is now the present. Happy futuring (YMMV)!

As always please respond via comments at the site or directly to me (erdley@buffalo.edu).

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