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The Technology We Take For Granted

I recently heard a story on the radio about a new drug that can help stroke victims. If administered within 3 hours of an attack, the drug t-PA can save the victim or can help the victim recover without permanent damage. The radio story was about a 49 year old woman who experienced her father’s debilitating stroke and knew where to go for specialized care. Her hospital in Massachusetts administered the not widely used drug and she made a full recovery. The drug is FDA approved but is not without its detractors in the medical community and is not widely used.

What is most interesting is the follow-up story.

Another woman, from Chicago, suffered a stroke. The woman’s brother is a Los Angeles physician and his wife heard the same story above about the woman who took the drug t-PA. She told the physician about the drug and on his way to Chicago to be with his sister, he researched the story using his iPhone, contacted the Chicago hospital and convinced them to use that drug. Since the drug is effective only within a few hours of the incident, timing was critical. The drug was administered and this woman also recovered 100%.

The LA doctor believes the drug saved his sister’s life. One can assume that had broadband over cellular not been available (on the iPhone), there would have been a greater chance that the Chicago woman would not have done as well.

One of the many things some of us take for granted that only a very few years ago, did not exist. In short time, we will take mobile broadband for granted just like today we take for granted faxes, the internet, and GPS navigation.