26 January 2020

100 not out, and still going strong

Communication KnowCents Technology

The Medical Republic is now 100 issues old, and thanks to our clients and readers, is an expanding business, that is not only growing its information service offering to GPs but has expanded into some important specialist vertical content areas, including rheumatology, allergy, immunology and respiratory, as well as digital health.

When we started back in late 2015, we were entering a market that already had two good weekly medical news publications, albeit by then they were both owned by the one company, and there was some speculation back then of how and where The Medical Republic might find a space to live. We knew we had to offer something different.

We settled on a few principles that would form our reason for being. They were to offer good clinical and political coverage, as the other media did, but to put that in the context for doctors of the enormous changes in their professional lives that digital transformation in healthcare was starting to bring. Our purpose was, and continues to be, to help GPs navigate an era where technology is profoundly influencing how doctors do business and is driving fundamental changes in the culture of medical profession.

A century of issues on, a focus on the intersection between the technology, business and culture of medicine, feels as relevant as ever – although you wouldn’t think it when looking at how the government has treated the profession. Yet GPs are the absolute key to the future of an effective healthcare system. They are the fulcrum of a system which eventually must move to effective longitudinal care of the chronically ill via networking a GP to teams of allied health professionals, and, when required, to hospitals. And technology is a key to helping facilitate that.

Already there are significant rumblings around the impact of digital technology changes to the delivery of health by GPs: The My Health Record (and its controversy); the need for better patient-data management by GPs and PHNs; the need for GPs to properly be networked and interoperable with their allied health teams; the requirement for the government to somehow manage a transition of how we pay GPs for outcomes as well as services. And  in all these areas, we are all really only at the starting line.

Health is highly complex, regulated and risky, so naturally there are strong cultural elements formed around the profession of medicine in order to navigate this complexity and risk. But as the system changes, as it must, parts of that culture of medicine will need to adapt.

Digital transformation has hardly had an impact in the health profession so far because of these complexities. It is the last major profession to not be fundamentally changed.

If you’re a doctor, the change is only starting. But digitisation will slowly, but surely, change how medicine is practised, and most likely for the better. But it won’t be an easy journey. Changes wrought by technology rarely are.

So at our 100th issue, we think that our reason for being, to assist doctors navigate these massive changes in the intersection of technology, business and culture, is as important as it ever was. And we intend to keep hard to the task of helping.

Thanks to all our readers, and our clients, for supporting us through this journey. We think it’s an important one. We look forward to turning 200.


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