Cyber Healthcare and The Virtual Meaning of Life 

As I sit at the conhIT 2018 and watch the participants and visitors walk around me with at least two gadgets – excuse me, I mean mobile accessories – attached to their body, I take notes on the techie pond I am treading water in. Frogs normally don’t tread water and flourish just as well on land as in water. But if you transplant a frog from one ecosystem to another, a certain amount of water treading is necessary until the depths are conquered.

frog_laptop01_tnsUnlike a trade fair in North America or Asia, a German trade fair in particular is a very grey zone, and by this I mean grey suits, if not black. There is the occasional group all decked out in blue, but predominantly black. It is almost like walking around in a giant bruise. A similar fair in another country would have more colour thrown in among the people manning the booths, or taking the corporate colours and logos seriously. That would make our neighbour stand have the entire team dressed as yellow hedgehogs, or the others as red books. Our own corporate colours would require us to be in green and orange (carrots or bees!). But instead, my tired eyes are assaulted with Serious Black.

As I wrote yesterday, the world of medicine, healthcare, operations, and appointment planning has moved into the cyberworld, in a huge way. In this virtual reality, words that I know with other more general definitions take on a completely meaning. For example,

  • Languages: I asked someone today what languages he works with, and in my mind I asked it from a linguist’s perspective, but he replied with: Angular, Java, JavaScript, and so on.
  • Front-End / Back-End: Unlike the fashion industry or real estate, front-end and back-end in the IT world have nothing to do with clothing or house entrances, but the separate presentation layers of a system or software.
  • Angular: to an engineer or mathematician, this would mean something to do with degrees and placement, but to a software developer Angular J/S this is a programming language, specifically a web application framework for front-end developers.
  • Architect: these days, when someone tells you they are an architect, your first question should be “what kind” – because it no longer refers to someone designing buildings or houses, but software design. Both deal with the stability of a structure. Whereas one breed of architect deals with wood, concrete, angular placement of windows and drinking copious amounts of java, the other spends his/her days in virtual worlds using Angular, Windows and writing in Java.

So back to the meaning of real lives in virtual worlds… The challenge to service providers healthcare IT is to improve the quality of life of both the medical service provider as well as the patient, and to ensure (and assure) the patient does not fall victim to artificial intelligence.


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