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Red pill, anyone?

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | February 01, 2013
From the January/February issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

For anyone familiar with the blockbuster movie The Matrix, you may already have an idea of what this month's title is referencing; otherwise, be patient and read on.

This past November, as has been the case as long as I've been with DOTmed, our news team was out in full force at RSNA's annual show and conference. If you're a regular visitor to the news portion of our site or a regular reader of our magazine, you know there was a lot to cover and our team offered a lot of information about the latest and greatest from the show. We visited booths to learn about new products and services, we went to press events to get company updates and sat in on some presentations to hear the latest research findings. Being that this is our Health IT issue, one presentation in particular comes to mind now.

A presentation moderated by David Hirschorn titled "Radiology Informatics Series: Mobile Computing Devices," had decent attendee turnout - especially for an early morning event. And though Dr. Hirschorn and the individuals presenting their findings had a lot of interesting information to share about how mobile computing is changing the landscape, after looking around the auditorium, I couldn't help but note some irony. Due to mobile devices, about half the audience wasn't actually paying attention to the information being presented about mobile devices. Some were checking e-mails or uploading pictures while others were reading the news (maybe reading tweets about the great information being presented in that very same event). The problem is becoming more pronounced every year or maybe every month - the delivery of information is instantaneous and so overwhelming that many people find it impossible to unplug even if they're getting great information in person. It's much like how people have to video everything for family vacations or events instead of living in that moment and being active participants.

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So getting back to the title - in The Matrix movie, Keanu Reeve's character was offered a choice between taking a blue pill or a red one. If he took the blue, he would continue living the same life as always. If he took the red however, he'd "wake up" and see that the reality he was accustomed to was fake and there was a lot more going on outside the confines of the matrix. Obviously if he had taken the blue there wouldn't have been a blockbuster movie - maybe there's a lesson to be learned there.

Much like the presentation at RSNA, there's interesting information about where PACS may be headed in the future (page 28). A contributed piece for this month's IT Matters also covers PACS and a "best-of-breed" approach (page 24). And we have a feature on 10 must-have health care apps (page 43) for the app-hungry among our readers.

Finally, we’re introducing a brand-new regular column that’s found on the last page of this issue. “The future of . . . “ features highly regarded health care professionals offering their predictions about what their area of expertise will look like in regard to technology, legislative and reimbursement issues and staffing in five to 10 years down the line. For our inaugural offering, we’re featuring Dr. Stanley Goldsmith and his take on the future of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging.

I hope if you are using some type of mobile device right now it's just to read this issue - so Kindle and iPad users, you're off the hook for the moment.

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