The future of self-diagnosis

Today’s inbox delivery from Fast Company was packed full of so many really great stories. included were:

It is this last story that the rest of this post refers to. I get so gosh darn excited when humans start making very practical leaps with technology. There is a video embedded in the story that illustrates the vision of one of the products competing for $10 million Tricorder X Prize. (I have also linked to it below). As I watched the video, I got chills. This is one of those products that makes the leap from science fiction to everyday reality. It looks so easy, so practical, so natural. And while watching, I found myself checking to see if I had any negative reactions. Would this make me feel unsafe? Would it make me feel like “big brother” was watching? Would that be bad?

In answer to my first question, I would have to understand more deeply what the device uses to gather data from the patient’s body. I am not going to speculate (too much) but I look forward to learn a lot more about the this device and others.

In answer to my other questions, I will begin by saying I work in healthcare. Before I worked in healthcare, I would have assumed that any population-level healthcare data was a little creepy and that I didn’t want my healthcare data to be used as an excuse to stalk me and listen in on my life.

But now my stance is soundly it the camp that sharing anything we can about ourselves will only increase the quality and access of the healthcare services available to us. There will always be people and organizations who abuse data. But the benefits of having data work for us outweighs the risk.

The video:


RB Conversation

Today, during my day job, I spoke with someone at our website vendor (for the purpose of this blog we’ll call him RB). It was so inspiring to speak with him today. Of all the people I have actually met, he has one of the most interesting career paths. It includes working at a large commercial photography house and performing eye surgeries and working on prototypes for optical surgery. But this post is not about careers. It’s about geekiness.

Our conversation invigorated my desire to really get in touch with my industry. I wax and wane when it comes to how much motivation I have to keep up with such intangible schools of thought as the web technology, best practices, ehealthcare trends, analytics, ROI, etc. It is so easy to get all wrapped up in what we should be doing and why we are not doing it and how to get stakeholder by in. Then, I go home and see my daughter and wonder why I cared so much about anything but her and my husband. I am also reading Eat, Pray, LoveEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I am in the section that is Italy. She is exploring the art of pleasure. She is explaining how italians value pleasure and happiness above all other aspects of their lives … above work, above ambition, above keeping up with the joneses. I wish for that mentality. But again, that is another post. This post is about the things I am about to do to help me be better at my job. Hopefully …

I am going to keep up with industry blogs. I am going to read books that RB suggested I read. I am going to go the conference that is best for where I am in the process of my job, not the one that appeals to be most. I am not going to be in the same job 5 years from now.

A drooling geek

I’m drooling over the apple iPhone 4 today after my coworker and I stopped all productivity to read the live blogcasts of the apple keynote at WWDC 2010.It’s funny how we get so excited over a little chunk of metal, plastic and glass. We sat there drooling and giggling and gasping while we should have been working.

I will most likely not be getting the iPhone 4. I got my iPhone 3GS last year and must wait for my contract to come to an end … or at least get closer to the end so I might opt into the early renewal deal. It’s funny how AT&T gets ya that way.

The pattern is that Apple has a new release every June. I started out with the first generation iPhone, skipped the 3G, got the 3GS and now will be getting whatever new model comes out next summer. It’s a pretty good rotation of technology.

And still I feel silly for caring so much. What’s this blog called again? Oh yeah …