By now, we have all heard, discussed, and thought a lot about AMA CEO Madara’s speech on June 11, 2016 to the AMA Annual Meeting on #DigitalHealth challenges and opportunities facing medicine – “AMA CEO Madara Outlines Digital Challenges, Opportunities Facing Medicine” The response was, as we here at #hcldr and our #DigitalHealth communities expected, quite the backlash. And for good reason.
All movements, paradigm shifts, momentum changes and new directions within a population create stress – the stress of understanding, the stress of vision, the stress of great leadership. What we must keep in mind is that within everything new, we find the good and the bad. We shouldn’t have to say this since it [should be] is self-evident that we must filter the good from the bad.
The problem I see along with many of you is the overarching statement made by Dr. Madara:
From ineffective electronic health records, to an explosion of direct-to-consumer digital health products, to apps of mixed quality – it’s the digital snake oil of the early 21st century.
This unfairly and incorrectly paints an entire sector of #HealthCare as Snake Oil. Hardly.
Let’s take a look at some leading comments about this.
Respected social media voice, medical colleague, and leader Dr. Bryan Vartabedian (@Doctor_V) tackled this issue in his recent blog, “Digital Health and the AMA’s Snake Oil.” Do read it now if you haven’t! What stands out is his comment:
I might remind Dr. Madara that before referencing any part of digital innovation as snake oil he should recognize that there are countless MDs, patients, and health IT professionals working to move the world and shape our new digital culture in ways that he and the AMA can’t even begin to understand.
There is no snake oil. We created the digital foundation that is a prerequisite for the next generation of tools which will focus on.
We can’t help but reference Topol’s (@EricTopol) The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care & The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands as required reading for any #DigitalHealth player.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t want to tell you what you should think or put #DigitalHealth in its own silo. I wish for all of you to discuss and share your insights now that a bit of time has passed since the speech. I know #hcldr will add value, ideas and action to this conversation – movement – shift – growth.
This week on #hcldr, let’s think & talk about how #DigitalHealth has been correctly or incorrectly labeled as Snake Oil and what that means for healthcare.
Let’s consider where we are and where we need to be as well as the implications along with the #hcldr community of professionals, patients, clinicians, administrators, lurkers, counselors, social workers, designers, and advocates! Please join us on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 8:30pm Eastern (for your local time click here) as we discuss the following topics:
- T1: Is #DigitalHealth akin to modern snake oil? Do failures and missed objectives equate with a poor overall foundation?
- T2: Why does the “Establishment” take such a doctrinaire & negative attitude towards #DigitalHealth?
- T3: Is #DigitalHealth creating levels of care that serve to stratify healthcare or does it pull everything together? Examples?
- T4: What upcoming shifts in #DigitalHealth do you see on the immediate horizon? Are you working on any initiatives?
“AMA CEO Madara Outlines Digital Challenges, Opportunities Facing Medicine”, James L. Madara, MD, AMA Annual Meeting, June 6, 2016.
Accessed July 4 , 2016
“Digital Health and the AMA’s Snake Oil”, Bryan Vartabedian, 33 Charts, June 18, 2016.
Accessed July 4, 2016
“Why I Disagree with the Snake Oil Analogy”, John Halamka M.D, Life As A Healthcare CIO, June 14, 2016.
Accessed July 4, 2016