[Air-L] Effects from using digital devices/potential distractions in medicine/ yesterda's NYT

Prof.Murero murero.monica at gmail.com
Fri Dec 16 01:17:39 PST 2011

Hi everybody,

Digital devices should not be used when there is the potential risk of  
endangering people life- like the case of public bus drivers text  
messaging and twittering while driving. The problem with the newspaper  
articles ( http://goo.gl/0kQxz ) is that it has no empirical roots, no  
references to the literature and  is  based on speculation - actually  
a " gut feeling" of an anesthesiologist is reported!  By the way, ask  
any surgeon who has at least 20 years of practice, that is well before  
the diffusion of smart digital devices weather or not  
anesthesiologists read newspapers in the operating room during the  
operation? unfortunately the answer is yes.

Does distraction patterns change over time or does the means people  
use to get distracted change?

  I  have been working in interdisciplinary  eHealth research groups  
for more then ten years, and actually literature shows that digital  
health devices, and medical apps accessed via smart phones are  
lowering medical error rate  (one of the three main reasons of death  
in health care practice) . Digital media help nurses avoid mistakes  
when provide medication dosage to patients- Telemedicine via the  
internet supports education & medical knowledge by helping third world  
country access free online continuing medical education programs.  
Internet allows for immediate verification of medical professional  
information - drug dosage, etc.  that otherwise would require long  
time retrieval, avoidance and inefficiencies.

  The hypothesis of potential distraction effects from using digital  
devices - for what purpose? - in risky situations should be further  
investigated (seriously), but must be contextualized. In fact, during  
risky operating room activities like hearth surgery - in the  
newspaper's example - the non-medical staff  experience different  
levels of "risk" at different pick-times.   I would be concerned if  
the primary doctor performing the operation would touch anything  
besides the knife, including his head, during the operation! By the  
way, doctors performing pioneering telesurgery on patients in another  
"nation" use a million dollar device that additionally offers internet  
access on a screen.

Monica Murero , Ph.D.
AoIR Honorific Lifetime Member

Director E-Life International Institute
Associate Professor in Politics of e-Government
and in Sociology of New Technology
University Federico II, Italy
AoIR Exec, 2003-2009; AoIR Treasurer, 2005-2009

LinkedIn: http://it.linkedin.com/pub/monica-murero-ph-d/16/52/606
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/monica_murero
Facebook: murero monica

Il giorno 16/dic/11, alle ore 00:39, gene loeb ha scritto:

> This is very interesting and useful to my colleagues here.
> Gene
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: David Sadoway <bigbluearth at gmail.com>
> Date: Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 6:38 AM
> Subject: [ciresearchers] Doctors, [ICTs] and potential distractions /
> today's NYT
> To: ciresearchers at vancouvercommunity.net
> Cc: michael gurstein <gurstein at gmail.com>
> An article which may be of interest from today's NYTimes.
> December 14, 2011
> https://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/15/health/as-doctors-use-more-devices-potential-for-distraction-grows.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=print

More information about the Air-L mailing list