Croakey received this email this morning from a Sydney specialist, Dr Rob Loblay. It is reproduced here with his permission:
I’m writing to you as I sit here (im)patiently waiting while the latest video commentary (‘ARBs [Angiotensin Receptor Blockers] and cancer – are we looking at junk science?’ ) from Medscape is buffering……………………………………………………..
I have so far managed to watch 53 seconds of jerky video with long gaps every few seconds.
The problem is it’s that time of the morning when everybody in our area health service is logging on to check their emails etc, so the bandwidth is clogged and frustratingly slow. Although there is a wireless link between where my office is and the hospital, that’s not the main issue.
The problem is the size of the pipe coming in to the hospital from the internet (and the number of people sharing it), not the pipeline feeding me.
As I sit and contemplate those little blinking dots on the screen …………………… (it’s now been 10 min since they started & I know I’m going to have to either reload or give up) ……………….. my mind wanders back to Tony Abbott’s comments about broadband on last night’s ABC-TV QandA.
He just doesn’t get it!
He thinks ‘wireless broadband’ is the same as the ‘wifi’ that we all use at home, café’s, bookshops, airports etc. Someone should ask him if he understands the difference.
The more people there are sharing a wireless broadband link, the slower it is going to be – and that could be hundreds or thousands of people (as it is where I am sitting now), not just the handful sitting at home or in a café sharing a wifi access point.
It’s not rocket science. We are now 10 years into the 21st century. Tony Abbott needs to come up to speed on what the internet and broadband is all about.
As for some of the comments by medical colleagues on radio last night questioning the clinical utility of fast broadband and e-health, I am left speechless! Sadly, there are a lot of luddites in my profession.
Still waiting………… 20 min and counting. Time to give up!
PS: Just read your post. I am very much hoping that allied health will be included.
At my clinic we have a highly specialized interest in food intolerance (as well as other food-related conditions) and employ 7 dietitians to help manage the patient load.
Between 20-25% of our clientele come from out of town – many from quite remote areas – some from interstate – and we are heavy users of email for follow-up communication.
We are increasingly keeping electronic records, and have just begun web-based e-bookings with health questionnaires filled in by patients from home before they arrive.
With proper IT equipment, fast broadband (!!) and a bit of creative thinking/planning we could schedule a regular clinic day for multidisciplinary e-consultations & offer services to many people in remote areas who can’t get access at present….