There’s been a lot of talk in the wake of Steve Jobs’ passing about the future of innovation and the status of tech ingenuity in a post-Jobs world. It got us to thinking about what are the drivers of invention and innovation. Clearly, when it comes to technology, a single person’s brilliance has proven strong enough to shape and reshape, our cultural, social and tech landscape.
But what about for the other 99.9999% of us, the not-geniuses – what will we rely on to shape and reshape our own world and future – to change careers, start a business or connect with like-minded people? And what about those of us living in rural areas?
We found the beginnings of an answer in a recent post by Rick Boucher of the Internet Innovation Alliance, which makes the simple but profound point that: “This generation’s light bulb is broadband.” In short, with broadband access, all of us have the power to invent and innovate. Boucher uses telemedicine to make his case that
“high-speed Internet connectivity overcomes distance and enables transformative changes in the economy and quality of life for rural areas.”
Boucher puts it this way:
“Broadband breaks down barriers to modern day advancement. In terms of commerce, it enables nearly any business to be conducted from any wired location. Physical urban proximity to customers and suppliers, which once was the norm for businesses, is now unnecessary due to the virtual proximity created by a high-speed Internet connection–the same communications needs can be met and business operations completed whether located across a street or across an ocean.”
He goes on to site a new report conducted by the University of Texas Medical Branch Center that
“explores the potentially life-changing (and life-saving) benefits of widespread broadband deployment. The report, “Benefits of Telemedicine in Remote Communities and Use of Mobile and Wireless Platforms in Healthcare,” http://www.internetinnovation…. explores the role of telecommunications technologies in raising the bar for the quality of healthcare that Americans can access, particularly those in remote communities.”
This report is well worth checking out – it goes in-depth to examine
“how broadband connectivity has enabled progress in healthcare innovation and impacted real-world patients. Mobile platforms like modern smartphones, for example, can be connected wirelessly to physiologic monitors worn on a patient’s body or embedded into a patient’s garment. These new telehealth-related possibilities have translated into observable outcomes such as improved access to specialists, increased patient satisfaction, improved clinical outcomes, less crowded emergency rooms and cost savings.”
The report and Boucher’s blog are both good reads, and will make you reflect on the fact that “being away from the big city doesn’t have to mean being behind the big city” because broadband is the innovation that will fuel a new generation of innovation and advances.