Live From Impact 2011: Changing Medicine At Boston Children’s Medical Hospital
In another section of today’s opening general session of Impact 2011, Dr. Jeffery Burns, MD and had of the Division of Critical Care Medicine, brought home to the audience how technology is playing a role in not only transforming and making business more agile.
No, Dr. Burns made a powerful house call, pleading with the audience of technologists that the medical field needs their help, particularly to change the healthcare “information bottleneck.” He made the point through a life saving story, whereby he was working to save a critically ill young girl who had a septic bloodstream infection and who was being attended by Dr. Burns and a team of 20 nurses and doctors.
Fortunately, she made it, and two years later, Dr. Burns received a call from a doctor friend of his, from Guetemala City, facing a very similar situation. Dr. Burns attempted to help his colleague through some primitive videoconferencing, but it was very difficult to send the specific medical steps and shared data necessary to his colleague to help him learn the procedure.
Somehow she, too, made it, but Dr. Burns was convinced there had to be a better way to share and transfer medical knowledge. In medical school, and in their residencies, what one student sees on a shift one evening could be dramatically different for another student the next. How could technology help create some repeatable, and virtual, education solutions that would better help students learn and retain medical knowledge??
The answer came in the form of the X-Box game, Call of Duty 4, which Dr. Burns witnessed his son playing one Friday evening with some friends (including a new German one located in Munich — and when two weeks later, Dr. Burns visited the IBM-produced Masters golf tournament Web site.
Soon, he was meeting with the IBM Interactive group from Atlanta and Boston, and demonstrating to them his need to map what we called the “Adult Learning Cycle” to an interactive prototype application that could be loaded on a thumb drive, but reach into the cloud for new content.
Dr. Burns explained to the Impact 2011 audience that the prototype medical education application was shortly in trials around the globe, from Beirut to Cambodia, and helping medical students utilize it to garner valuable medical knowledge in a “learn by doing” mode — the most effective way for many adults to learn.
Dr. Burns wrapped up his compelling discussion by relating a quote from that most famous of anthropologists, Margaret Mead.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can chance the world; indeed, it’s the only thing it ever has.”