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Iqbal Haider


We are all too familiar with the word ‘digital’ used
like household item in our daily lives, all but fewer
medical professionals in the late nineties of twentieth
century thought that the contour of the Medical sciences
would not change to any major degree given
the rigidity of nomenclature and the scientific precision
associated with this science. But in 2018 the science
of Bu Ali Cenna and Alexander Flemming is no more
a Holy Grail. In fact digitalization has pervaded into
the field of medicine in a proportion equivalent to that
of the parent computer sciences itself. All the present
day consultants in the field of Medicine in its various
specialties would recall how consultants at the time of
their training would grill them during the ward rounds or
in a symposium on a scientific question that has been
raised in the latest edition of British Medical Journal
that was published last week to which only he had
access, he being the prescriber. They would all look at
the lips of the consultants with awe and surprise as to
what next pearl would be spelt put by him, they having
no clue whatsoever!!. Not anymore of this, rather the
moment consultant for example asks about a novel
topic, the apparently disinterested post graduate at the
tail of the ward round or a backbencher in the Clinical
Presentation Conference through his i-phone has the
latest update on that subject published even this morning.
To move a step further if it is a group discussion
everybody irrespective of his interest or hard work can
join in the active discussion at two minutes’ notice using
his easy to use smart phone. You now rarely need to
move miles and burn your petrol, time and money to
reach the archives of the Royal Library in London to get
your needed topic. This obviously cannot be a substitute
for quality research work or literary publication but for
every day knowledge and application this is what the
people call Science Made Ridiculously Simple! Health
Care Professionals can now access text books, various
scores calculators, drug information anywhere and anytime
in a fraction of seconds. The subscription for online
portal services and access for facilities like PubMed or
Google Scholar will make you feel like a member of elite
among the educated lot in Medical Profession. This will
not only enhance the self-confidence brought about by
knowledge but also improve the quality of services and
benefit to the humanity for those practicing practitioners.
One can simply check the required and relevant information
without having to leave patient’s bedside or go
to another room to have a look at his text book.
It may sound queer in our setup but the availability
of Digital Pharmacology guide during the ward round
is a routine practice in advanced countries usually
carried by a Pharmacist. All that the Consultant needs
to remember is the name of a generic based on his
knowledge and practicing experience, the detail about
the updated doses, routes of administration, duration,
various brands and their prices is one tick apart on the
online messaging services of the guide. This not only
can help rationalize the therapeutics but is a significant
milestone in quick dispensation of services in consonance
with the socioeconomic status of the patient.
Needless to say however, these quick and cheap
access to Medical information as already mentioned
can be adopted without and audit and scientific rigor,
necessitating the ultimate need of a teacher and quality
advances to be quoted and adopted in the scenarios
mentioned above. As part of the scientific protocol,
the need for caution and scientific dexterity cannot be
overemphasized. The newer information and protocols
need to be put to the test of recommended protocols
before being recommended for implementation. The
deviation from these can be disastrous in long term as
one of the pitfalls of this above scientific machinery is
the complacency and rusting of the clinical senses and
expertise as a result.
Foreboding is forewarned.

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