Saturday, October 15, 2011
Three reasons why doctors lament the death of Steve Jobs
Doctors love their Apple products. Just walk into any hospital ward, and see the types of mobile devices we are using. At weekly Grand Rounds conferences, you see plenty of iPads in use. At physician meetings, the laptop of choice is often the Macbook Pro. The data backs these anecdotal examples as well.
Doctors love their Apple Products and Steve Jobs was obviously an extension of these products, often times cited as the singular force behind them. It's why physicians who love his products mourn his passing.
There are three specific reasons why:
Simplicity. In medicine, we deal with enough complexity. Knowing disease pathology and the mechanism of various illnesses and their treatments is a fascinating exercise, but it's taxing. For every known in medicine, there are at least five unknowns. It's what makes being a physician exciting, but stressful as well. We're always on high alert, especially those of us who practice in the critical care arena.
Juxtaposed to this is our personal life arena, which doesn't consist of beeping monitors, abnormal vital signs, and dying patients. We want the technology we use to be easy to understand, and simple to use. Simplicity is something we appreciate due to the complexity of our profession.
We appreciate simplicity even more because of the software we use in a hospital setting. Ask any physician about their electronic medical record, or even the software on the medical devices they use. It's a functional experience, but not a fun one. The $60,000 ultrasound machine I often use in the emergency room, while extremely functional and allowing me to make the proper diagnoses, has a horrid user interface. These types of experiences give us an appreciation for uncomplicated.
Simple is good for us. Simple is nice. Simple is fun. Simple is a relief.
Solid Build Quality. As I mentioned above, the software on many of the devices we use is not optimal, but usually, the same cannot be said for the hardware we use. The hardware we use in the surgical arena, or even to do invasive procedures at the bedside is of solid build quality. It has to be, hence the phrase "medical grade". Peoples' lives depend on the integrity of the hardware we use. As physicians, we appreciate this same medical grade feel extending to our personal tools.
The feeling of a Macbook Pro confers this. Just compare the aluminum unibody hardware build to the majority of plastic casing laptops. It's a completely different experience. This type of comparison extends into the smartphone and tablet arena as well. The iPad and iPhone 4 have a clearly superior build quality than their competitors
Uniformity. This has some overlaps with the first reason, but the key message here is that if you know how to use an iPhone, you know how to use an iPad. Jobs was a genius at understanding that uniformity is key for adoption. As physicians, we lack free time. We don't want to sit down for hours and figure out the intricacies of an operating system. We don't want to root a mobile phone (Android), just so we can take off the silly skins that a manufacturer throws on so that we can get a better user experience.
A better user experience shouldn't have to be manufactured by the end user. It should be manufactured by the device maker, which is something that Jobs understood well. As he would often say, we want something that "just works."
Jobs was an incredible innovator, whose vision was nothing short of changing the way we do everything. His legacy, though impressive now, is sure to only grow as things like the nascent mHealth industry, which he helped spark, begin to mature.
Some of our favorite posts on how Jobs' vision is changing medicine:
Future Uses for the iPad in the Operating Room: a Game Changer ?
Stanford School of Medicine is giving the iPad to all incoming medical students
Apple's New iPad 2 Commercial Prominently Features Medical Apps
Connect Your Stethoscope to Your iPhone, Thinklabs's Stethoscope Medical App – 3M/Zargis Not Far Behind
For more on his life and legacy, check out the following:
New York Times - an in-depth look at his entire career
Apple - share your own thoughts and memories
Engadget - a great list of quotes from throughout his life
This post by Iltifat Husain, MD, appeared at Get Better Health, a network of popular health bloggers brought together by Val Jones, MD. Better Health's mission is to support and promote health care professional bloggers, provide insightful and trustworthy health commentary, and help to inform health policy makers about the provider point of view on health care reform, science, research and patient care.
Contact ACP Internist
Send comments to ACP Internist staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Solo practice vs. integrated health systems: What'...
- The immeasurable value of continuity of care
- Informal learning and its moral for medical educat...
- QD: News Every Day--Intense testing, year-long cli...
- Inactivity the best bad habit to break for diabete...
- Medical prices in 1900
- QD: News Every Day--Vitamin E supplements associat...
- Laws of thermodiagnostics
- Overtreatment alert! Antibiotics fuel medical over...
- QD: News Every Day--Vitamins shouldn't be routine ...
Members of the American College of Physicians contribute posts from their own sites to ACP Internistand ACP Hospitalist. Contributors include:
Albert Fuchs, MD, FACP, graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine, where he also did his internal medicine training. Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Dr. Fuchs spent three years as a full-time faculty member at UCLA School of Medicine before opening his private practice in Beverly Hills in 2000.
And Thus, It Begins
Amanda Xi, ACP Medical Student Member, is a first-year medical student at the OUWB School of Medicine, charter class of 2015, in Rochester, Mich., from which she which chronicles her journey through medical training from day 1 of medical school.
Zackary Berger, MD, ACP Member, is a primary care doctor and general internist in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins. His research interests include doctor-patient communication, bioethics, and systematic reviews.
Controversies in Hospital
Run by three ACP Fellows, this blog ponders vexing issues in infection prevention and control, inside and outside the hospital. Daniel J Diekema, MD, FACP, practices infectious diseases, clinical microbiology, and hospital epidemiology in Iowa City, Iowa, splitting time between seeing patients with infectious diseases, diagnosing infections in the microbiology laboratory, and trying to prevent infections in the hospital. Michael B. Edmond, MD, FACP, is a hospital epidemiologist in Richmond, Va., with a focus on understanding why infections occur in the hospital and ways to prevent these infections, and sees patients in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Eli N. Perencevich, MD, ACP Member, is an infectious disease physician and epidemiologist in Iowa City, Iowa, who studies methods to halt the spread of resistant bacteria in our hospitals (including novel ways to get everyone to wash their hands).
db's Medical Rants
Robert M. Centor, MD, FACP, contributes short essays contemplating medicine and the health care system.
Juliet K. Mavromatis, MD, FACP, provides a conversation about health topics for patients and health professionals.
Dr. Mintz' Blog
Matthew Mintz, MD, FACP, has practiced internal medicine for more than a decade and is an Associate Professor of Medicine at an academic medical center on the East Coast. His time is split between teaching medical students and residents, and caring for patients.
Toni Brayer, MD, FACP, blogs about the rapid changes in science, medicine, health and healing in the 21st century.
Vineet Arora, MD, FACP, is Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency and Assistant Dean of Scholarship & Discovery at the Pritzker School of Medicine for the University of Chicago. Her education and research focus is on resident duty hours, patient handoffs, medical professionalism, and quality of hospital care. She is also an academic hospitalist.
John H. Schumann, MD, FACP, provides transparency on the workings of medical practice and the complexities of hospital care, illuminates the emotional and cognitive aspects of caregiving and decision-making from the perspective of an active primary care physician, and offers behind-the-scenes portraits of hospital sanctums and the people who inhabit them.
Ryan Madanick, MD, ACP Member, is a gastroenterologist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and the Program Director for the GI & Hepatology Fellowship Program. He specializes in diseases of the esophagus, with a strong interest in the diagnosis and treatment of patients who have difficult-to-manage esophageal problems such as refractory GERD, heartburn, and chest pain.
Mike Aref, MD, PhD, FACP, is an academic hospitalist with an interest in basic and clinical science and education, with interests in noninvasive monitoring and diagnostic testing using novel bedside imaging modalities, diagnostic reasoning, medical informatics, new medical education modalities, pre-code/code management, palliative care, patient-physician communication, quality improvement, and quantitative biomedical imaging.
William Hersh, MD, FACP, Professor and Chair, Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology, Oregon Health & Science University, posts his thoughts on various topics related to biomedical and health informatics.
David Katz, MD
David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACP, is an internationally renowned authority on nutrition, weight management, and the prevention of chronic disease, and an internationally recognized leader in integrative medicine and patient-centered care.
Richard Just, MD, ACP Member, has 36 years in clinical practice of hematology and medical oncology. His blog is a joint publication with Gregg Masters, MPH.
Kevin Pho, MD, ACP Member, offers one of the Web's definitive sites for influential health commentary.
Michael Kirsch, MD, FACP, addresses the joys and challenges of medical practice, including controversies in the doctor-patient relationship, medical ethics and measuring medical quality. When he's not writing, he's performing colonoscopies.
Elaine Schattner, MD, FACP, shares her ideas on education, ethics in medicine, health care news and culture. Her views on medicine are informed by her past experiences in caring for patients, as a researcher in cancer immunology, and as a patient who's had breast cancer.
Mired in MedEd
Alexander M. Djuricich, MD, FACP, is the Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education (CME), and a Program Director in Medicine-Pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, where he blogs about medical education.
Rob Lamberts, MD, ACP Member, a med-peds and general practice internist, returns with "volume 2" of his personal musings about medicine, life, armadillos and Sasquatch at More Musings (of a Distractible Kind).
David M. Sack, MD, FACP, practices general gastroenterology at a small community hospital in Connecticut. His blog is a series of musings on medicine, medical care, the health care system and medical ethics, in no particular order.
Reflections of a Grady
Kimberly Manning, MD, FACP, reflects on the personal side of being a doctor in a community hospital in Atlanta.
The Blog of Paul Sufka
Paul Sufka, MD, ACP Member, is a board certified rheumatologist in St. Paul, Minn. He was a chief resident in internal medicine with the University of Minnesota and then completed his fellowship training in rheumatology in June 2011 at the University of Minnesota Department of Rheumatology. His interests include the use of technology in medicine.
Technology in (Medical)
Neil Mehta, MBBS, MS, FACP, is interested in use of technology in education, social media and networking, practice management and evidence-based medicine tools, personal information and knowledge management.
Peter A. Lipson,
Peter A. Lipson, MD, ACP Member, is a practicing internist and teaching physician in Southeast Michigan. The blog, which has been around in various forms since 2007, offers musings on the intersection of science, medicine, and culture.
Why is American Health Care So Expensive?
Janice Boughton, MD, FACP, practiced internal medicine for 20 years before adopting a career in hospital and primary care medicine as a locum tenens physician. She lives in Idaho when not traveling.
World's Best Site
Daniel Ginsberg, MD, FACP, is an internal medicine physician who has avidly applied computers to medicine since 1986, when he first wrote medically oriented computer programs. He is in practice in Tacoma, Washington.
Other blogs of note:
American Journal of
Also known as the Green Journal, the American Journal of Medicine publishes original clinical articles of interest to physicians in internal medicine and its subspecialities, both in academia and community-based practice.
A collaborative medical blog started by Neil Shapiro, MD, ACP Member, associate program director at New York University Medical Center's internal medicine residency program. Faculty, residents and students contribute case studies, mystery quizzes, news, commentary and more.
Michael Benjamin, MD, ACP member, doesn't accept industry money so he can create an independent, clinician-reviewed space on the Internet for physicians to report and comment on the medical news of the day.
The Public Library of Science's open access materials include a blog.
One of the most popular anonymous blogs written by an emergency room physician.