Dr. Google and Medicine

Medicine, and the practice of, has not been keeping up with the rest of the evolution in internet applications and technology that we hear so much about each week. Take a look and see what you think of this article from Forbes Magazine:

” How Mayo’s “Dr. Google” Deal Disrupts Medicine

Dr. Google GOOGL +1.27%” has joined the Mayo Clinic, quietly signaling a powerful disruption for all of medicine.0413_companies-google_650x455

Back in 1997 I wrote: “The information age is to medicine as the Protestant Reformation was to the Catholic Church.” The Church didn’t disappear when information once held tightly by the priesthood became widely available, but religion changed forever.

In that context, Mayo’s agreement to produce clinical summaries under its name for common Google medical searches is like a medieval pope happily handing out Bible translations. The mission of the most-used search engine on the planet is to make the world’s information “universally accessible and useful.” Mayo, in contrast, has for decades been a global symbol of doctor-knows-best. Recommending a Google search “as the first stop for those needing health information,” in the words of a Mayo physician executive, represents a true paradigm change.

But there’s much more going on here than search. From the Fitbit to medicine’s front lines, information technology is forcing a new doctor-patient relationship with new rules for new roles.

If information is power, digitized information is distributed power. While “patient-centered care” has been directed by professionals towards patients, collaborative health – what some call “participatory medicine” or “person-centric care” ­– shifts the perspective from the patient outwards.

Collaboration means sharing. At places like Mayo and Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center, the doctor’s detailed notes, long seen only by other clinicians, are available through a mobile app for patients to see when they choose and share how they wish. mHealth makes the process mundane, while the content makes it an utterly radical act.

About 5 million patients nationwide currently have electronic access to open notes. Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a few other institutions are planning to allow patients to make additions and corrections to what they call “OurNotes.” Not surprisingly, many doctors remain mortified by this medical sacrilege.

Even more threatening is an imminent deluge of patient-generated health data churned out by a growing list of products from major consumer companies. Sensors are being incorporated into wearables, watches, smartphones and (in a Ford prototype) even a “car that cares” with biometric sensors in the seat and steering wheel. Sitting in your suddenly becomes telemedicine.”

To read the rest of this article go to http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelmillenson/2015/02/25/how-mayos-dr-google-deal-disrupts-medicine/

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