As a kid growing up in central Florida in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I was lucky enough to visit the Magic Kingdom regularly when out-of-town family and friends came to see us. Each visit, after touring Main Street, singing our way through “It’s a Small World,” and sailing with the Pirates of the Caribbean, we’d head to my favorite Disney “world” – Tomorrowland.
Space Mountain’s roller coaster was, of course, an essential stop, but I loved the attractions showing the high-tech world of the future. At that time, Tomorrowland was a 1970s-era vision of the future, with rocket ships and journeys into space featuring prominently, along with vignettes of scientific discoveries and high-tech inventions.
Although the Tomorrowland of my childhood has since been replaced with one based upon a science-fiction oriented theme, the sleek, white, space-age vision of Walt Disney lives on in my memory. It was there I first saw interactive audio-video on display. Little did I know I was seeing the future of medicine.
In this edition of Arkansas Hospitals, we explore innovations in telehealth and look toward the future of high-tech medical care. Today, physicians, nurses and other health care professionals are able to interact with patients in ways that were not possible just a few years ago.
As Walt Disney once said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible,” and we are doing just that in health care. Automation, robotics, electronic records, wearable health monitors, interactive iPhone apps…these are all realities in our modern medical system.
Welcome to Tomorrowland, where nothing is impossible.
Elisa M. White