Risk Taking in Healthcare and the Foolish

Posted on April 29, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

“You have to take what people think is wrong or even foolish and make the breakthroughs of tomorrow.” – John Kheir, MD

I’m still in awe of the ideas that John Kheir, MD presented at TEDMED around injectable oxygen-filled microbubbles. The concept is fascinating and while I know nothing about the science or medical requirements of what he was doing, I was even more impressed with the challenges that John Kheir faced from “the establishment” when he through out what many considered to be foolish ideas.

This is what make’s Dr. Kheir’s quote above so powerful. The breakthroughs of tomorrow really are often consider foolish ideas today. We see these examples in the tech world all the time. When Google began it was foolish to think that they could index the web and let people search through it. The dominant thinking of the time was that a website like Yahoo would curate the vast amount of web content for the users. Google’s foolish idea has turned out pretty well. It makes me wonder what foolish healthcare IT ideas are out there that we should be embracing and supporting as opposed to suppressing.

When Dr. Kheir had his breakthrough idea of oxygenating the blood through an IV, he started to research whether some sort of micro container existed. He discovered that indeed microbubbles already existed and were used for ultrasound imaging. He reached out to one of the leading experts on microbubbles and asked if they’d been used to oxygenate blood and if not why not. The researchers response was fascinating. He replied, “I didn’t know it would be useful.”

I ask then, are there technologies out there today that we just aren’t using in EMR and healthcare IT because “we didn’t know it would be useful?”

Check out the Looking Ahead After TEDMED hangout I’m doing on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 2:00 PM EST to hear more discussion about TEDMED.