Home > TechMed > Hey Doc, Are You a Cyborg? Close… I am an Inforg

Hey Doc, Are You a Cyborg? Close… I am an Inforg

I recently attended Singularity’s Futuremed 2011 conference and it was an invigorating experience to say the least. A breath of fresh air for all those who attended, mixing sci-fi with modern day technology/medicine. There was not a single subject that was not interesting.  People were glued to their seat from 8:00am to 10:30pm just to  continue later  discussing important subjects at the lounge in the hotel we were staying at. I do not exaggerate when I say;  this is without a doubt my favorite conference of all time.

When the conference was over, my mind was spinning. The amount of knowledge presented was impressive and demonstrated in a very digestible manner. But at the end, retaining all this information was very difficult and that is why Futuremed very cleverly made a portal were the attendees can log in, review notes, concept maps , and  presentations.  One can have access to this knowledge just with a couple of button clicks or finger taps in the case of your smartphone/tablet.

A very important concept mentioned over and over again was  “The Law of Exponentiality”. In brief, this just means that our world is picking up speed in a very significant manner in every aspect; technology, medicine, engineering, etc you name it. Everything is evolving; Computers, Smartphones, Smarthouses, Cars that drive by themselves (Google Car), Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence, Genomics or Regenerative Medicine

Information is available at our fingertips. You can now see teenager’s thumbs moving quicker than hummingbirds wings when browsing the internet in their smartphone. Everything is getting quicker and more efficient, everything but one thing, Our brain… It seems like everything has evolved but our gray matter, the seat of a person’s intelligence and IQ, as well as the mental strengths and weaknesses of the human being.

As mentioned in Futuremed at Singularity University  “Our brain has not evolved to the Era we live in”. We have all these gadgets that help us become more efficient, smarter if you so please.  Smartphones or Smartdevices that help us remember. They are not yet a part of us, so the word cyborg  is still futuristic, but it seems everyone has one, so we might as well call ourselves human  Inforgs?  We are entering the Fourth Revolution or so called the “ Information Revolution”.  Such revolution is obliging us to become    “interconnected informational organisms “ ( INFORGS ) and indeed we are sharing the informational environment resulting in the INFOSPHERE.  This concept was mentioned at TEDxMaastricht – Luciano Floridi – “The fourth technological revolution”. (Video is below)

So what is my point?  My point is that teaching medical students, residents and knowledgeable doctors how to use efficiently computers, smartphones and gadgets is of paramount importance at this stage of human evolution. Anyone who is resourceful and knows how to use his smartdevice in an efficient manner could speed up diagnosis and treatment in many situations. As years go by, technology will continue to advance in an exponential pace and those that do not keep up with it, those that do not see the profound impact that the Informatic Revolution is having upon us, those that do not comprehend the directions of the disruptive innovations and the implications of the new developments  will find themselves stuck in an abyss of overwhelming information.

If you think this is non-sense… what If I told you that in the near future a machine could be doing the job of a doctor? You would say preposterous,  ridiculous, BLASPHEMY.. OFF WHITH HIS HEAAAAAD… or in the other hand, believe it is reasonable.

I would like to end with an advise given by Bob Metcalfe, Founder of 3Com and Co-Inventor of the Ethernet: “ Be prepared to learn how the growth of exponential and disruptive technologies will impact your career and your life”

Well ladies and gentlemen I invite you to read a little about Peter Diamandis and The X Prize Foundation who is offering  $10 Million For a Tricorder to Diagnose Patients.  Just do an internet search (aka googleit).  If you still think this is ridiculous, I respect your opinion, I know this is farfetched,  but I would recommend anyone who got this far to read a little about exponential technologies, what do they mean and where they are heading.

Another  Crazy. Crazy. Crazy. Obvious scenario?

Questions for the audience;

1) The Tricorder concept  “replacing” Primary Care Physician is a very interesting one, which in part, could help significantly help with the the issue regarding lack of primary care doctors.  Is it possible that this could be a solution? (Keeping an open mind is always helpful with this type of questions)

2) Should  “Technology Updates Course” be added to the Curriculum of Medical Schools or CME for already practicing Physicians?

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Categories: TechMed
  1. pat kottner
    May 30, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    me encanta que hayas estado tan fascinado con estos temas e Isabella fue la frutilla de la torta!!!!!!
    te mando un abrazo

  2. Damian Torres
    May 31, 2011 at 1:33 am

    For someone that just started you are doing a great job. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!

  3. lucienengelen
    May 31, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Christian, great post, great angle, great suggestion. Yes a tech update should be part of the curriculum, and in that mean a real tech update in the sense that we should incorporate the latest technology that wil be hittin the market within 1-3 years, should be mandatory. Since as you know technics won’t be the issue anymore, exponential technology will outrun the needed change in process, attitude and finance-systems.
    As told in my lecture @futuremed we will be needing a different kind of doctors, nurses and administrators over the next years. Or the “sitting crew”has to update it self on the technological frontier for instance via Executive Programms like Singularity University FutureMed.
    Not only it is needed to keep the right perspective, but as well to keep your organisation headed in the direction future is heading. We still think in a linear way, but -as history has shown- this isn’t going to happen other that in exponential way.
    As Radboud University Medical Center, we are at it with our Radboud REshape & Innovation Center, and our TEDxMaastricht conferences, but still there is more needed. I hope SU/FM will be able to come to Europe as well, it would make a great combination to give a strong boost.

    keep posting Christian, share your journey with us !!

    yours,
    Lucien

    @zorg20 on twitter (Zorg = health in Dutch)

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