The Future Of Card Collecting

Before we get into the post, I want to make an announcement/request.


If you have something we’ve talked about, leave a comment or email me before sending it but, barring some sabotage, I will be closing on a house this Thursday.  I’ll get into that more another time.  For now, I just wanted to halt the incoming.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Recently my new job sent me away to a conference in New Orleans.  I may have been a few weeks too late for the Super Bowl, but the conference housed just as many, if not more, people.  In fact, the convention center stated it is the size of 17 football fields.  And I had to walk the length of it several times a day.

The conference is all about information technology in the healthcare arena.  My current job has me dealing in what’s known as “Big Data,” so we kind of fit right in.

The week was filled with seminars and education sessions covering a vast array of topics.  At any given time, there were two or three different sessions that I could have listened to and another 15 or so that fit other people’s needs.  Even though I wasn’t able to hear anywhere close to everything, I still came away with some important general concepts (and a couple not so important observations).

1) Petabytes are where it’s at.  I scoff at your puny TB hard drives.  You think that will be sufficient to house your data in a couple years?  Okay, yes. On a personal level, that shouldn’t be a problem at all for a while.  But in terms of data storage and analysis for businesses it’s all PB all the time.

2) Taking pictures of powerpoint slides with your iPad is the new note taking.  I rocked it old school with a pad and pen, but that’s because I know I learn better if I write it down.  It may not be as easy to immediately share, but I also know all the slides are available for download free after the fact, so it seemed like a highly pointless exercise.  I think half the people were showing off iPads (not going to work when nearly everyone in the building has one too) and the other half were doing it because they saw someone else do it.

3) For the more important things.  Patient access to data is going to be a bigger thing.  The general consensus is that it should be easier for us to get access to our records and know what’s going on in our files and charts, even if we don’t understand them.  Oh, and also be able to transfer that information to other clinics, hospitals, etc.  That latter part is going to be a big hurdle, but most seem to be on board with finding a way to work that out.

4) We’re on the cusp of a medical revolution thanks to technology.  Let me delve into this more away from the bullet points.

You know those commercials where little Billy gets to go to school thanks to some moving robot screen on wheels?  Yeah, those may serve some purpose, but they already know that those things are not the future of medicine.  Also, let the damn kid have some time off!  He’s sick for crying out loud!

What is the future of medicine is those note taking devices.  The iPads and smart phones.  You may know this already, but they have apps and plug in devices that will allow you to test your blood sugar if you’re diabetic.  They can monitor all your vitals with a smart phone.  That data could potentially be sent to your doctor immediately, too.  Have a weird mark on your skin?  Take a picture and the app will tell you if you need to consult a physician.  Young graduates are being given plug-ins to replace the stethoscope.  Now they can actually take video of your heart beat instead of listening to it.  They can see if something looks off or irregular instead of just guessing.

They have RFID chips that they can insert into pills to make sure a patient is taking their medicine correctly, or at all.  It sends an alert when it hits the stomach acid.  There are implants that are half the size of a grain of sand that can be put into your bloodstream that can act like a check engine light for your body.  It can sense clogging of arteries or other problems and email you to let you know to see a doctor.

Genome mapping is going to help eliminate a lot of wasted time and money by only taking the medical tests you actually need.  That should help reduce some bills and insurance policies down the road.

I could go on for quite some time, but you get the idea.  Technology is evolving rapidly.  The medical field is admittedly farther behind than they should be, but there’s a lot of really cool stuff that is extremely encouraging.

So why, with all the technological improvements in the world in myriad fields and industries, does this…

pack pulled, just not by me

…have to be numbered like this….

I think I need a doctor after seeing this

Great placement, too.  Certainly wouldn’t want to be consistent with series 1 & 2.  Perhaps that’s what qualifies for progress these days.

A big thanks to My Cardboard Mistress for the great, albeit non-foil-stamped, card.  I guess the future of card collecting is still in the future.

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