Monday, October 26, 2009

It's not a plane: it's a computer, it's an echocardiogram!

Last week, I had the “privilege” of watching part of an echocardiogram. The room was darkened, and the “PC” lit up, with all the keyboard keys and additional buttons, more or less matching electrocardiographic leads, lit up in garish orange. I kept thinking how much medicine has come down to “playing with computers” or devices that are like video games. Appeals to kids, doesn’t it.

I don’t mean to belittle the jobs of medical technicians. Actually, the jobs involve both technology (basically appealing to workers brought up to be computer literate and to enjoy working with computers) and people, in this case, placing a few stickers on the person, applying a gel and passing the transducer wand, and creating the “Youtube-like” video images of the function of various portions of the heart.

Jobs in medical technology require a people-sensitivity that ordinary technology jobs don’t. It’s an important thing to bear in mind in looking at the new job market, where personal medicine and nursing is something you can’t offshore.

Here is a UC Television video on the topic.

Attribution link for Wikipedia p.d. image of an echocardiogram.

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