Today a great innovator passed away. Steve Jobs, the techno-savvy former Apple CEO, left a legacy that will be felt for generations to come. For someone who was never the leader of a nation, much less a politician, his influence has transcended national boundaries. Some say he is the Thomas Edison of our time – an adopted, college dropout who pursued his dreams and came out successful in his short lifetime. He will surely be missed.
But what if Jobs were in healthcare? What if he were a physician? What could he have done?
With his creativity and passion, I’m sure Jobs would have done the following:
1. Create an instructional design to make medical education more interesting. He has done in with computers. The lifeless box used to be appreciated only by intellectuals and electronics professionals. Today, even non-computer geeks are talking about tweeting, blogging, and downloading. I’d like to think that Jobs would have created a software program that medical professionals could use to enhance medical instruction, making it more interactive and interesting. Maybe future doctors would not have to push themselves too much to study and learn.
2. Redesign hospitals and healthcare institutions. Perhaps we’d see more EQ-laden frontliners in hospitals and clinics, with adequate lighting and snappily designed rooms and hallways that would stimulate healing the moment one steps in. And of course, reduce the red tape and systematize access to care, making it easier and hassle-free.
3. Revolutionize health care marketing, with more emphasis on a pull instead of a push strategy. Hospitals would then focus on creating educational content to introduce their complex products and services, place them on the internet, and attract people to their websites because of the amazing content therein. No more need for boring, straightforward, copywrited content from “experts” who do nothing but harp on technological advancements without listening to the pulse of the common man.
4. Be an example of true leadership in health care. Someone who would dare to wear jeans and an ordinary t-shirt instead of showy long white gowns in order to create an image of approachability instead of aloofness. A physician leader who is confident about his ability and skill and is not threatened by the emergence of young leaders who could one day take his place. Someone who is willing to transfer knowledge to others. And an innovator who is willing to learn from other industries to come up with new products and services that would benefit mankind in the long run.
Someday, somehow, I know the Steve Jobs in health care will come. Hopefully he is just around the corner. Because we need him now. ASAP.