The Future of Healthcare Is Better Communication

Wendy Sue Swanson Digital Health

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, executive director, Digital Health

The Internet, applications, mobile devices, wearable technology and other digital tools have changed our society's collective expectations of how we live, work and play. These ever-evolving technologies also create opportunities to improve healthcare delivery and enhance patient-to-provider interaction. But which opportunities will have the most beneficial impact?

To begin a focused inquiry to that essential question and identify digital solutions to pressing issues in healthcare, Seattle Children's established a Digital Health initiative in October 2013, led by Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson , author of the book Mama Doc Medicine and a practicing pediatrician known nationally for her Seattle Mama Doc blog and social media and digital health thought leadership.

"Right now, roughly 80% of people search for health advice on Google or online patient communities," said Swanson."Doctors can and should be taking advantage of these burgeoning worlds by engaging in and providing their expertise to those conversations. There are huge opportunities for listening, learning, and sharing."

Swanson and her team plan to collaborate with tech innovators to see if there are ways to more effectively deliver meaningful information sharing between patients and their doctors.

They will also create an advisory committee of patients, parents, doctors, nurses, researchers and staff in 2014 to provide guidance on digital health projects and innovation.

Initial projects include building tablet and web applications designed to educate current patient families - introducing them to providers, care delivery and medications. The team also offers social and digital consulting services to physicians and staff at Children's.

By forging partnerships with technology companies to pilot different digital solutions at Children's, Swanson and her team will encourage creative problem solving to improve communications between patient families and providers.

Connect with Us

If you would like to speak to a member of the Digital Health team, email us , call 206-987-5289 or follow Dr. Swanson on Twitter .