This is an op-ed from Cosima Gretton, a doctor who has worked part-time at Bay Area health-technology startups.
There’s a huge disparity going on in healthcare. The digital health hype is at an all time high. It seems like every day, I read a new article stipulating that technology is ‘revolutionizing healthcare.’
But inside hospitals, the story is very different.
I work as a doctor at a well-known hospital in London. Technology is changing rapidly in other sectors, but health care is having a hard time keeping up. Outdated IT systems are compounding the stress that doctors already experience in their daily lives, as well as making it more difficult to interact with patients. In the U.S., a recent survey found that only six percent of doctors are satisfied with their jobs, in part due to the poorly-implemented electronic medical record systems.
This situation may get worse before it gets better. In the U.K., where I work, there is a current row over contracts that would increase working hours while cutting our pay by as much as 40 percent. Globally, there’s a huge lack of doctors: the U.S. alone will face a shortage of between 46,000 to 90,000 physicians by 2025, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. It's a supply and demand problem: It takes more than a decade of expensive training for doctors to care for the growing pool of aging patients.