If you think you've got a bad case of the travel bug, get this: Dr. John Halamka travels 400,000 miles a year. Halamka is chief information officer at Harvard's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a professor at Harvard Medical School, and a practicing emergency physician. In a talk at Singularity University's Exponential Medicine last week, Halamka shared what he sees as the biggest healthcare problems the world is facing, and the most promising technological solutions from a systems perspective. "In traveling 400,000 miles you get to see lots of different cultures and lots of different people," he said. "And the problems are really the same all over the world. Maybe the cultural context is different or the infrastructure is different, but the problems are very similar."
The Secretary of Health and Human Services remains an open post today, as Democrats boycotted Rep. Tom Price's Senate confirmation vote Tuesday afternoon. But while Dems are still debating the ethics of Price's financial dealings, healthcare communities are already thinking about how he might lead the agency into the future. During a confirmation hearing last Tuesday, Price came out against electronic health records, the digital histories patients make every time they see their doctor or go to the hospital. "We've turned physicians into data entry clerks," he said, arguing that the burdensome recording systems need an overhaul. He may not be wrong.