Education and Healthcare Embrace a Digital and Interconnected World
Fact or Fiction: Educational technology or “EdTech” is now essential.
According to a recent survey by Harris Interactive it sure looks like a fact when 90% of surveyed educators state it’s “important” or “absolutely essential” to use products (such as apps, computer games, websites, digital planning tools, or digitally delivered curricula) designed to help students or teachers. And with Stanford, Harvard, and MIT leading the “virtual classroom” charge, its hard to ignore the digital wave sweeping across education.
The same holds true in healthcare. When every other news headline this week is focused on whether the “best and brightest” in Silicon Valley can fix Healthcare.gov’s glitches, we know healthcare has gone digital. But I’d rather showcase the 59% of adults who looked online for health information in the past year or the 86% of physicians currently using mobile devices and apps in clinical practice, to make the point hit home.
Speaking of a digital wave, did anyone notice that more than 200 million users downloaded Apple’s iOS7 operating system the first week it was released. That’s right, 200 million people around the world downloaded new software to their iPhones and iPads last month, making this the most successful product launch in the history of the world. While this is great news for Apple shareholders (including me), this milestone has huge implications for the future of education and healthcare.
It means that we truly live in an interconnected world (see the first slides from my talk at SOCRA for additional data). When a single company can reach out and touch 200 million people across the globe and prompt them to take immediate action with the click of a button, then we are poised to shatter any preconceptions we once held about the way education and healthcare will be delivered and consumed. As connection speeds continue to increase and mobile devices become pervasive (i.e, billions of connected devices, not millions), we will soar past today’s “flipped classrooms” to create highly personalized, immersive, and real-time learning experiences that can be delivered and consumed anywhere, any time.
In this new interconnected world, where EdTech and Healthcare intersect, clinician learners can participate in rich digital learning experiences – moving well beyond video lectures and real-time discussions to discovering insights that can be captured, recalled instantly, and applied directly to improve the healthcare provided to all of us and our loved ones.
This vision of the future is shared by entrepreneurs and innovators across the world, including right here in Charlottesville with the ArcheMedX team and our partners. And since we can now live and work from anywhere in an interconnected world, Steve Case (AOL, Revolution) is spot on when he says, “Not all great companies are in Silicon Valley”. Innovation can happen anywhere, and I hope the news shared through our site and resource center provides a quick glimpse into how our team and others are putting the pieces in place to change the very fabric of education and healthcare.