History shows that adopting innovation is exceedingly difficult and indeed medicine initially resisted some of the greatest innovations, which we now take for granted. To think that Semmelweis’s proposal of washing your hands to prevent the spread of infection was once ridiculed is hard to believe especially in light of the current pandemic. Indeed such was the resistance, that Semmelweis was thrown into an asylum against his will.(1) The adoption of Semmelweis’s suggestion has led to countless lives being saved but it took decades for it to be adopted, as did Dr Barry Marshall’s work to show that Helicobacter pylori causes gastric ulceration. Finally however, this was acknowledged resulting in a Nobel Prize in 2005. Cardiology is no exception, as Andreas Gruntzig struggled to gain acceptance of coronary angioplasty in 1976; Dr Spencer King famously saying, “It’ll never work.” The suggestion too that Beta blockers could treat heart failure was dismissed at first and the concept that physiological assessment of a coronary stenosis was superior to the ‘oculo-stenotic reflex’ assessment of a coronary stenosis was challenged despite De Bruyne and Pijls proving its value.(2) In the current issue, Whitelaw et al. provides us with many reasons why clinicians and patients have difficulty in adopting digital healthcare technologies (DHT). This is a vast topic and indeed many before have explored the reasons why the adoption of new practices in medicine is challenging.(3) Such is the magnitude of this topic that we can only begin to discuss a few areas.
- digital health