At SXSW, Hipsters Look for Healthcare Tech Tipping Point
But smartphones are no panacea, not in a country where 10,000 people a day will turn 65 for the next 20 years, and where thousands of phones without passwords are lost or stolen annually.
There was a palpable sense of frustration here, of would-be killer apps that clinicians can't or won't deploy, of the hours wasted by physicians who would like to enable tech to do the repetitive tasks that it's good at, but which the current legal and reimbursement system won't support.
"The AMA code about the physician uses of social media is all about the risks you incur in doing so," says Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital. "It isn't really about the opportunities for connecting with patients or curating information during a period of time between wellness visits.
"Two of my employees in my clinic were fired in the last ten days for HIPAA violations. You can imagine how the other 260 doctors in the clinic feel when I try to encourage them to comment on my blog," says Swanson, who is known for her online handle "Seattle Mama Doc."
More and more patients want to use tech to help caregivers. As one session description put it, it's easier for patients to update their status on Facebook than it is to update their health history.
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