From Wolfman to Medicine Man: Podcasting for Clinicians

Kaiser Permanente, The Permanente Medical Group, The Permanente Federation

Robert W Hogan, MD

Spring 2008 - Volume 12 Number 2


Many of us in clinical medicine aren't fond of very large numbers. We deal with and intuitively grasp milligrams, grams, and kilograms, and centimeters and meters, but what sense does the difference between a megabyte and a terabyte make? By contrast, computer professionals routinely work with gigabytes, and given the popularity of multigigabyte, MP3 players, pocket-form terabytes (one thousand gigabytes) are soon to come.


So what do these gargantuan numbers mean to the clinician? With more storage in less space the opportunity exists to develop new methods to house medical information in tinier packages. This should translate to ease of use, convenience, and portability that we need or might enjoy. Technical advancement however shouldn't be viewed simply as a parade of interesting devices. It's also about processes, surprises, breakthroughs, and the migration of technology from place to place in society. This movement of technology appears capricious, until innovation alights a consumer application, and then we can count on clever folks transplanting it to professional use.





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