Miles of information for medical librarians #medlibs article on technology revolutionizing medical education

Just a quick blurb about an article that came across my news feed (feedly) on Monday. It is something I have seen in the several news articles and even peer reviewed published paper. For some reason though, there were key phrases in article that caught my attention. Such as this one:

Because the Google generation of residents and students will hold all of the world’s knowledge in the palm of their hands

Yes they will have access to data in the palm of their hands, as they do now. Yet, even when I round with residents now they are not able to quickly find this data. And even if they are able to quickly find it, they cannot access it due to firewalls or cost. Plus they often have to evaluate the data to see if it is even quality information. So while the mini iPad or mobile device puts answers in your hands, it also raises several questions: Is it quality information? How long does it take you to wade through the information? Who is providing access to the information? Is the information freely available or does it have to be managed? These are questions that come to mind when I read articles like this one.

As a librarian, I’m biased when I read these types of articles. I immediately think about the information overload issues, access to information, quality of the information being provided, and the ability of the person searching to walk through all of these steps and not get fed up and just use Wikipedia (yes sometimes that is ok… sometimes…).

I am also still waiting for a really good hacking/coding librarian to build this:

A computer algorithm will review the patient’s major history, habits, risk factors, family history, biometrics, previous lab data, genomics, and pharmacogenomic data and will synthesize a prioritized agenda of health needs and recommended interventions.

If we are looking at the idea of big data, and librarians being more involved with helping to organize big data.. .is it a stretch to have techie librarians involved with the computer algorithm system. Maybe it is just the tech geek in me wanting to dive into a system like this, and build a really snazzy interface with high quality data to back it up.

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