Although Mr. Mumford has been gone awhile (22 years), part of his foresight, as I understand it, is that technology should serve humankind and not vice versa. The more things change the more things stay the same. Technology is infinitely more complex which makes it incumbent on IT and medical professionals that it serve to improve patient care and not worsen it. While I am jumping on the EMR (Electronic Medical Records) and Medical Social Media bandwagon, I am anxious to see that it is done in a manner that serves the patient more than me, the IT guy or the hospital where care is given. So many of the EMRs that I have sorted through as a provider makes patient care HARDER, not easier. Perhaps this will improve when, and IF, our different systems can talk to each other but now it is difficult to find labwork, tests, and pertinent history when wading through thirty pages of printed material that has nothing to do with the patient's problem. The important stuff gets lost in the minutia.
To get back to Mr. Mumford, my vision for the future of medicine includes accepting what is new because it brings us back to what is old--taking care of the individual patient (the old) by utilizing the new (Electronic records and social media) and in the process creating partnerships with patients as well as other physicians and healthcare providers. This doesn't mean that my "partnered" patient will get the inappropriate antibiotic she insists is necessary. But it does mean that patients may once again see me as something other than a prescription supplier and test taker. Dialog is so much more satisfying than one-way conversation.