The beat-up leather black bag has long been a charming symbol of the caring family physician, but it also has a lot of equipment that’s of little use to today’s doctors. Metal stethoscopes and reusable equipment have been replaced by technology that makes the tools of George Clooney’s Dr. Ross look as archaic as the glass cups of bloodletting-physicians back in the 18th century.
Today’s black bag (if a doctor carries one at all) is likely to have an iPad equipped with an EHR app, a digital camera, a hand-held EKG machine, an instrument for measuring blood oxygen, and even Google Glass.
A driving force behind the tech products in today’s black bag is the need to treat patients in the community. Not only is it better for patients to remain out of the hospital as much as possible, the American population of those over 65 will double over the next 25 years. The resulting strain on hospitals will mean doctors need to be equipped to work on an outpatient basis more and more.
They’ll need to be able to integrate data from wearables and existing records — and bring the black bag to the edge of innovation. At HealthBeat 2014, you can join Walker and Kivatinos as they open up the black bag of the future and see what’s inside.
Thanks to the following industry leaders for supporting HealthBeat 2014: AARP as Gold Partner; CareCloud, Nexercise, Norwest Venture Partners, California HealthCare Foundation, ON24, and Altosoft as Event Partners; and Twine Health as a Nest Partner.