Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Creative Destruction of Medicine by Eric Topol (Book Review)

Doctors Beware!
Every revolution shows the incumbents in poor light - they look foolish, stubborn and indecisive. Eric Topol shows how breakthrough growth in mobile phones, wireless technologies and genomics, and their convergence is revolutionizing Medicine and Healthcare but the current 'high priests' whether it is doctors or the bureaucracy dont seem to be getting it. Nevertheless the flow seems to be irreversible as informed consumers empower themselves and push for new solutions that will provide better care, cheaper and more effective medicines, and democratize the healthcare system. Topols' stories about the shortcomings on the current system are scary and he is very tough on the members of his profession. Other players in the ecosystem like the Pharma companies also do not escape his sharp criticism. He will not be making many friends with this book - however it will be tremendously useful to the readers in multiple ways - as an individual on how to plan for your healthcare, as a student on planning your career, as an investor or entrepreneur for understanding opportunities that would create revolutionary wealth!. For people in the healthcare profession this should be a wake up call. I would urge all to read this book.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Getting Smart by Tom Vander Ark

Transforming Education through Personal Digital Learning!

We are all learners. If you are not learning something new every day, you might as well be dead. However opportunities for formal learning were very limited till a few years back. Access to content, teachers and facilities were limited to a privileged few in the world. That is now changing – digital technologies, cheap and high bandwidth internet connections and a global bunch of eduprenuers are now offering learning opportunities to all – irrespective of where you are and how much money you have.

Tom Vander Ark shows in ‘Getting Smart’ how this wave is transforming education across the world and what students, parents, teachers, leaders, and investors should do to take advantage of this revolution. Tom starts of the book by explaining what ‘personal digital learning’ is, and how it can overcome the current challenges faced by the American education system. Then in separate chapters on ‘Customization – building the right playlist for each student’, ‘Motivation- getting everyone into the learning game’, ‘Equalization – Connecting all students to Excellence’, ‘Integration – putting it all together to make schools smarter’, ‘Innovation – Policies that will make it happen’, ‘Investment – paying for innovation’, and finally ‘Employment – changing our job descriptions’ , Tom brings it all together to make you smarter.

Each chapter has clear predictions on future trends over the next five to ten years and very interesting links to a number of companies and organizations across the world that are active players in this domain. For any one interested in learning or in the future of education, this book is a must read.