Tuesday, August 16, 2011

An Ostrich View of Applied Medical Technology

My HMO, Kaiser Permanente, advertises that it wants it's customers to thrive, but only using older technology.

Some Background
My knee was injured in a triathlon when in college, and has been operated on six times.  It's beginning to hurt again and is making me cut back on activities, so I went in to see their lead orthopedist about it.  He's ready to replace my knee, and thinks it should be done soon.  I asked him for details on the technology he uses (which replacement knee), and he told me he's using the same solution that he's been using for the last 15-20 years.  He confirmed that it will only last 10-12 years, and that it will quite likely not allow me to continue surfing or cycling.  There are newer proven solutions available (I've paid for second opinions and done some research), but he said they stay with what they're using because it works.

So That Got Me Thinking...
What was technology like 15-20 years ago?  Here's a brief list:
  • No cell phones, smartphones, or text messaging
  • No hybrid cars
  • No digital data & video projectors
  • No satellite radio
  • No DVDs or BlueRay
  • No Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Netflix
  • No Internet or email
  • People still used/ relied heavily on:
    • CRT monitors & displays
    • Faxes & US Mail
    • Telephones & extension phones owned by the phone company
    • Dot matrix printers
    • VHS & Beta video players
    • Answering machines
    • Typewriters
Wake up, Kaiser, and serve us better.  There's lots of good new technology available.  Help us thrive.

1 comment:

Nick Nicholaou said...

Okay, so I must update this post. The lead orthopedist I met with misled me (yes, I'm being kind here) when he told me that my only choice within Kaiser was to use antiquated technology. As it turns out, there are other doctors in their unit who have chosen to keep up with technology, and one of them has me scheduled for knee replacement surgery using that new technology. He doesn't use carpentry tools, he uses lasers and up-to-date knee replacement components.