To provoke some thinking about what the future holds for healthcare IT professionals—as well as all of us as individuals—there’s  a new TED talk I highly recommend.


Intel fellow Eric Dishman, GM for healthcare at Intel, distills his difficult and confusing journey through the healthcare system – and how technology can improve such journeys for future patients. You can see the video here.


This talk is inspiring on at least two different levels. It’s inspiring to see how computing innovation can help solve big problems, and make our lives safer and more convenient. And it’s an inspiring story of how human compassion from a stranger saved Eric’s life, giving him the kidney that he needed.


In the presentation, Eric demonstrates an example of how patients will be more involved in their own care, something that he has worked on for more than a decade at Intel. He conducts a live online conversation with his nephrologist while, using a handheld device, projecting a live ultrasound image of his newly transplanted kidney for the audience.


The talk weaves together three themes of “personal health” aided by new technology and emerging models of care:


Care anywhere – the infusion of mobile devices and communications technologies that let clinicians and patients stay on track – beyond wires and organizational walls.


Care networking – the shift from solo-based practice to true team-based care. He says, “We have got to go beyond this paradigm of isolated specialists doing parts care to multi-disciplinary teams doing person care.” Eric contrasts the efficient and comprehensive care he received from the kidney transplant team with the scattered and unconnected care he received for many years when no one knew precisely how to treat him.


“The sacred and somewhat over-romanticized doctor-patient 1-on-1 is a relic of the past. The future of healthcare is smart teams – and you better be on that team for yourself,” he says.


Care customization – the development of a care plan for the individual, taking into account everything from one’s needs and personal wishes to one’s unique genomic variations. He tells the audience how he is living proof that we are living at the cusp of a revolution in personalized medicine. He challenges the medical research community to “experiment on my avatar in software, not my body in suffering,” he says.


But he saves the best for last. You need to see how his 15-minute TED talk ties it all together at the end. It’s a tribute to people who make a difference, and an inspiring call to action.


What questions do you have?