The Human Connection in Health—It’s not about the technology

Crounse_HeadshotSo much is written about technology transforming health and healthcare. All too often we forget what makes health and healthcare so special--why so many of us selected a career in the healthcare industry when quite frankly, there are lots of easier ways to earn a living.

I practiced medicine for more than twenty years before I finally stopped seeing patients altogether when I joined Microsoft. Giving up patient care wasn’t an easy decision to make. Who doesn’t want to feel that their work has meaning; that they are connecting with people at a time when they are most vulnerable; that a simple thank you from a patient or a family who you’ve been able to help is reward enough for your day’s work.

At Microsoft, I focus on information technology and the value proposition it offers for improving health and healthcare around the world. It’s not quite the same as holding the hand of a patient in need, but it does have its rewards when one considers the breadth and scale of what my work is influencing.

For as many years as I can count, I have been a huge proponent for the potential of technology in the form of tele-health and telemedicine solutions to improve health and healthcare around the world. With better, lower cost technology solutions and truly a global reach via the Internet, unified communication technology is indeed transforming the way healthcare is being delivered. I could go on about how a unified communication solution like Microsoft Lync provides the appropriate manageability, privacy and security that’s needed in enterprise healthcare settings. I could extoll about the value of “presence” via Active Directory and how it allows users to connect seamlessly with anyone in their federated network with just a click or two of a mouse.

But again, one must avoid focusing solely on the technology because it is not about the technology. It’s about the human condition. That’s why I am pleased to shine a light on a great new video produced by my colleagues who work in our US Health and Life Sciences team. Take a look. If it doesn’t pull at your heart-strings, maybe it’s time to take a step back and reconsider what life is all about.

Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft

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