Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Medicine 2018

It was Spring, 2018. She sat writhing in bed, complaining of nausea, feeling bloated and distended. The health care consultants who had gathered in the hall outside her room peeked in. Concerned, they began wringing their hands.

“Maybe if we tweet the symptoms, our health care social media friends can help us!”

So they did. The internet responded: “WTF?” and “How long has this been going on?” and “Maybe it’s acute appendicitis” and “F.O.S.?”

The consultants looked at each other, puzzled. “F.O.S.?”

Then it hit them: maybe she’s constipated!

So they electronically ordered a flat plat abdominal x-ray from their iPad 12 to be performed “as soon as possible.”

Within twenty minutes, a tired x-ray tech grabbed a blue gown outside, slathered his hands in antibacterial goo, donned plastic gloves and then entered the room.  He followed the carefully outlined lines on the floor, placed there to minimize infection based on the laminar airflow characteristics of the room.  He positioned the hard film plate behind the woman's belly, shot the picture of her abdomen, and shipped it off electronically to an eager radiologist in Dubai.

Within minutes the results returned.  The ordering consultant's iDroid-10 was alerted. The results were shared with the other consultants.  While impatient with the slow response time, they nonetheless peered at the results:

They paused and then looked at each other, confident they could affect a cure.
“Evidence of stool fills the entire ascending, transverse, descending colon and rectum. No free air. No evidence of obstruction.”

Reaching for their iDroid-10s in unison, each clicked through their multiple apps. They scrolled forward, past the ones for drug dosing, clinical formulas, Grand Rounds chats, differential diagnostic analyzer, EKG, pulse oximetry, World of Warcraft Residency Training tool, and even a retina reader…


Maybe we have a Facebook friend that can help us!

They clicked on the iDroid-10 Facebook app and updated their status:
“Need digital dis-impaction at our local facility. Anybody game?”

Within seconds, they got 20 “Likes” but no takers.

“Damn it,” they thought.

“Looks like we’ll have to hire a doctor.”


1 comment:

Dennis said...

I thought about laughing but crying seems more appropriate....