Revisiting Technology

Colin T. Son, MD


September 01, 2009

"I'm trying to focus more on issues related to healthcare reform and electronic health records," says Dr. Joe Kim. "I think that healthcare information technology will play a tremendous role in healthcare reform and I see many growing opportunities in this area."

Dr. Kim blogs on Medicine And Technology, a Website for "perspectives about innovative advances in medicine and technology."

Dr. Kim also writes/hosts other Websites, including Non-clinical Medical Jobs, Careers, and Opportunities, Medical Smartphones, and Mobile Health Computing.

On Twitter he counts 20,000 followers (

Dr. Kim's perspective of healthcare is viewed through technology-colored glasses. It's a view that many resist, even as medicine gets more technically complicated and everyday technology creeps into healthcare use.

Recently, he pondered how social media sites could play a role in improving public health:

If I were back in school getting my MPH, I think I'd do my thesis on the topic of how social media can improve public health. I admit that I'm an early adopter and I love technology. As I see how consumers are embracing various social media outlets, I see a tremendous potential to improve public health through these different channels.

[W]e have tools like Twitter. Many bloggers use Twitter as a broadcast medium. Tweets that get "retweeted" can spread like a virus and circle around the planet faster than a viral email campaign. Did you know that the FDA, CDC, NIH, HHS, and WHO all have Twitter accounts?

[W]hether you're talking about a swine flu pandemic alert, an FDA drug recall, a food alert, a drug safety alert, or any other type of public health alert, the use of social media will be an effective way to improve public health if the right people jump onboard and plan things appropriately.

Sometimes, Dr. Kim lends his space to guest authors. For example, Dr. Ethan Segal offered commentary on the use of telemedicine for stroke care:

[T]he American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association in early May 2009 released a statement which demands that all facilities which lack an onsite stroke neurologist should have teleconferencing systems in place to consult expert stroke neurologists at another facility. These neurologists could then remotely evaluate an acute stroke patient possibility needing tPA treatment. The group defines teleconferencing as "the use of dedicated, high quality, interactive, bidirectional audiovisual systems coupled with teleradiology for remote review of brain images."
Find out what's hot this week when Medicine And Technology hosts Grand Rounds on September 1, 2009.
Grand Rounds is a summary of what's going on in the medical blogosphere. It features the week's best online writing from physicians, nurses, pharmacists, policy wonks, students, patients and others interested in healthcare.