Max Anderson wrote an interesting post on the Cornflower, Top Digital Trends for 2010 (and other tech news). In the post he links to the Top 10 most popular searches, videos, etc. of 2009 as well as Top Digital Trends for 2010 by Digital Media Buzz.
Max specifically discusses the difficulties he encounters when he teaches classes for the GMER at other hospitals and institutions. Often the host institution does not have the correct/latest version of Flash or the institution simply doesn’t allow any Flash at all.
We all struggle with rapid rate at which technology changes the way we communicate and find information. A year ago if you asked me about hospitals on Twitter and Facebook I would have laughed. Yet go to Ed Bennett’s blog, peruse his Hospital Social Network List and you will quickly see that hospitals are jumping into this area of the Internet. Sometimes our IT departments are progressive, but often they are struggling right along with us, trying to balance information security with technology demands.
In spirit of all of the new year, here is my humble list.
Hot in 2009:
- Hospitals on Twitter and Facebook – Just check out Ed Bennett blog
- App Phones – Say goodbye to “smart phones” and hello app phones. People are flocking to app phones because they turn your phone into a mini computer on the go which is what people seem to want now.
- EMR integration – Slowly but surely it is coming into place, but IT infrastructures in hospitals and doctor’s offices still have a lot of work and it is still may be too early to determine the benefits of the system for some organizations.
Not in 2009:
- Blogs – Everybody is tweeting now, as PostRank’s nifty little chart on their blog indicates, more people are engaging and commenting on sites like Twitter rather than leaving blog comments. (Yes I find it a little ironic that the blog is dead but I am still writing on it and posting about the technology trends.)
- PHR – The market is saturated with companies trying to get in this area. Not all PHRs are the same. Some work with hospital EMRs, some are employer driven, some are used only by the patient. Frankly it is a mess and the average patient isn’t using it. It is estimated that 3%-6% of consumers nationwide use a PHR. Medicare’s $2.5 million EHR pilot garnered such little use that it may not be renewed. I am not saying the PHR won’t happen, it just didn’t happen as much as people wished/hoped/expected so far.
- MeSH – OK I am probably going to take some heat for this, but why else do you think PubMed changed their site and search interface? They did it to make it easier to search for the average person, (Whether they succeeded in that is up for debate.) and the average biomedical person does not search by MeSH. The folks at NCBI know this and they tried to design the system to address it. Of course they addressed it by further marginalizing it.
Hot in 2010?
- Flash – I agree with Digital Buzz, and I think we have come to a point where app phones are going to have to address the fact that they can’t use Flash. Many phones like the Android and the Blackberry will be using Adobe Flash 10.1but the iPhone will not. Will this be the must have “app” that even Apple must eventually pursue?
- Twitter – This is a bit of a cheat since it was hot in 2009. But I see it usage and applications growing to medical libraries more and I see its growth in emergency notification usage.
- Mobile optimization – Everybody is using app phones, their growth is huge. It is imperative that libraries start to acknowledged and serve this type of usage. Not only must they redesign their website to have a mobile friendly site, but they need to demand their vendors do the same too.
Not in 2010?
- Google Wave – The wave has potential but that potential is overshadowed by the fact that it is so new that the normal person has yet to find a reason to be on it. People are not ready to give up their email for real time communication just yet.
- E-Readers for medical libraries – Everybody is jumping on the E-Reader bandwagon, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony all have some sort of e-reader. The iPhone even has an app that allows to read Kindle books. However, I just don’t see the medical titles out there to justify for medical libraries to invest in them. The success of ebooks in medical libraries varies. In some places they are successful, in others they are barely used. Ebooks have not taken off like ejournals. Perhaps the e-readers might be the catalyst. But depending on titles and licensing agreements, I currently only see some colleges and specialized institutions dipping their toes into this platform.
This is just a small list of things. I am sure those who are more tech savvy than I have more ideas. Feel free to comment or Tweet on your thoughts about the trends in 2009 or what you see coming in 2010.