A quick note as I prepare to leave for my very exciting Mayo Clinic visit next week – unexpectedly, today two new posts went live on other people’s blogs.
Mayo Clinic Social Medial Health Network:
Social Media is the Profound Change Fueling the e-Patient World
I’m on the Mayo social media center’s External Advisory Board, so I’m required to write something yearly, and this was it – timed to coincide with my trip next week, though I didn’t know they’d time it this closely.
An important part of this post is the illustration – an updated version of a graphic I’ve used for years, highlighting that medical knowledge has shifted from being a closed system to an open network. This concept is widely known in high tech, but can seem downright alarming to people in medicine. I don’t fault them – it’s their training, and the idea of a closed system carries with it great responsibility. But it has changed, and it’s important to understand.
Please read the post (it’s not long) to understand the increasingly apparent impact this change is having on the practice of medicine. Please.
Not coincidentally, the graphic was first created by Dutch colleague and now friend Lucien Engelen, who conceived and produced the TEDx Maastricht conference where I did my TED Talk four years ago. And the first version of this graphic was produced a year before that, back in 2010. Thought leadership is thought leadership.
President Obama’s announcement (photo at right) in January of a $215 million research initiative for “precision medicine” was widely welcomed by fans of modernizing medical thinking, particularly since by its nature precision medicine is centered around the patient’s individual genetics. (I personally love it, and SPM president Nick Dawson was there (with two other SPM members) and blogged about it on the SPM blog.)
The announcement isn’t without its skeptics, though, including Michael Millenson MD, former president of SPM, who warned about it being overhyped on his Forbes blog.
There are many aspects to this, and today the BMJ Blog published a piece that I co-authored with Zackary Berger MD of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. (I’ve recently gotten to know Zack better because next month in Toronto he and I will be part of a Shared Decision Making session.) He invited me to collaborate on this piece, which points out that when we move to analyzing somebody’s DNA, we better remember to ask the person what is important to them. Because there’s no point using technology to better understand someone’s innards if the person doesn’t end up happier.
I’m pleased to say that I came up with the piece’s closing line: “Blend the nuance of self with the nuance of cell.” You’re welcome.:-)