As a practicing otolaryngologist and the chief medical information officer for University of Iowa Health Care in Iowa City, Douglas Van Daele, MD, sees how mobile devices and their associated technology can help transform patient care. But his dual perch means he can see the downsides as well, particularly with smartphones, whose prevalence in the health care setting has skyrocketed in recent years.
Explore this issue:September 2012
“They are great inventions, and they have enormous potential for information, but they do clearly have some risk,” he said. “In a similar way to when you’re being distracted while driving, if you’re actively caring for a patient and you’re getting many different messages about other patients, it can be a tremendous source of risk.”
Therein lies the dilemma for otolaryngologists: Physicians are increasingly incorporating lightweight computers, mobile phones and tablets into the delivery of health care. But that melding of humans and technology comes with the potential for distraction.| | | Next → | Single Page