The Impact of (Future) Technology on Health Professions Now

By Jonathan Sherbino (@sherbino)

“The future is like a corridor into which we can see only by the light coming from behind.”  – Edward Weyer

It is very dangerous to predict the future.  The only certainly is that you’ll be wrong.

“A phone is for making phone calls.”

“There are no more interesting problems in (Newtonian) physics.”

“140 characters for a message?”

Of course, there are always caveats to such black and white claims.  Predicting the future may be fraught with danger, but thanks to Moore’s law the cycle between dream and reality is shrinking. As the pace of advancement quickens, Clinician Educators need to anticipate how technology influences the delivery of health professions education, responding appropriately to adopt technologies that improve learning efficiency and safeguarding against other technologies that negatively impact on learing.

Enter Bertalan Mesko, an MD PhD with an interest in predicting how emerging technology changes medicine and medical education.

Mesko’s MedicalFuturist site provides a curated stream of news on how technology will (is?) affect medicine. Wearable technology, 3D printing, citizen science via mobile devices are just a sampling of the topics he covers in this brave new world.

Mesko’s other big project is Webicina, a free clearinghouse of peer reviewed medical information resources.  The ICE blog has previously covered the challenges of accessing reliable medical information resources however, the assumption  in that post was that the end user was sophisticated enough to avoid getting duped by a low quality resource.

Webicina backstops this process by:

  • Crowdsourcing the best resources
  • Collating resources into collections
  • Hand sorting endorsed resources through a rigorous review algorithm

Finally, check out the free social media course that Mesko runs.  An elective course at Semmelweis Medical School, Budapest it provides an on-line learning experience (asynchronous, self-guided).

So, if you are a CE who wants to keep up with the rush of technology and its impact on health professions education, checkout the resources above.