As usual, the Apple Keynote to introduce the new Apple Watch and three new iPhones, was done with great marketing aplomb. Apple has it down pat. Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them works every time. The new Watch will enable millions of people to monitor their heart rate and rhythm, which can lead to enhanced conversations with cardiologists. The three new phones with FaceID and the amazing A12 Bionic chip will set a new standard for smartphones and their use of artificial intelligence. The only thing Apple can’t seem to do is switch my timezone so I don’t have to get up at 3 AM EDT to place my orders. I’ll have more to say in a couple of weeks about how the new products work.
Meanwhile, healthcare continues to be behind. I visited a very busy imaging center last week for a routine X-Ray. The waiting room was huge and full of people. No WiFi. I still encounter restaurants who don’t offer WiFi, and when I talk to owners, they say they don’t want people lingering and tying up a table. This is a really benighted rationale, but at least it is somewhat understandable. The radiology center has people lingering, not by choice, and they get to read outdated paper magazines.
This week, I visited a new imaging center for an MRI needed for my upcoming Total Shoulder Replacement. The new center was beautiful, the receptionist and technician were very polite and professional. The waiting area had WiFi and a WiFi placard to tell people how to use it. Hooray.The total experience could have been better. The classical music in the headphones was weak and not very good. Worse yet, it was interspersed with loud advertisements. I never expected to be bombarded with ads inside of an MRI machine. I asked how I could get the radiologist’s report on my shoulder, and was offered two choices. They can mail it via USPS regular mail or I can drive back and pick it up. After the MRI, I was presented with a CD. I have a lot of computers around my house, and none of them has a CD drive. CD = Completely Dinosaur. This is one of the many reasons healthcare is so expensive. Information is locked up on paper, CDs, departmental silos, Post-Its, and patient portals which you can’t search, sort, or export. The lingua franca in healthcare is the fax machine.
Last night after the Apple Keynote, I opened the Apple Store app on my iPhone, and pre-ordered the new iPhone Xs Max. After gliding through the configuration choices, I was offered the opportunity to get pre-approval for monthly payments for the Annual Upgrade plan. The confirmation screen showed the details of what I had ordered and the phone number and serial number of the iPhone I will be replacing. Everything in one place. Smooth as silk. I dream of the day healthcare will be that way. It can be done. There are some encouraging signs, but the rate of progress is glacial.