“Business will change more in the next ten years than it has in the last fifty.” That is what Bill Gates says in his bestselling book from 2000 “Business @ the Speed of Thought”. Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy
Fifteen years later it is safe to say the prediction has come true. The prediction was based in large part on what Gates called “the digital nervous system”. The digital nervous system is the complete connection of all parts of a business through computer networks, then the connection of all businesses to each other and finally the complete connection of customers through computers and the Internet. This digital nervous system will allow for the instant flow of information transforming everything we do.
In the dental office the digital nervous system would connect the treatment rooms to the front desk, but it won’t stop there. From the office you will connect to suppliers, insurers, laboratories, specialists and financing. The patient would also be connected through web pages, e-mail and social media to get appointment or account information, contact a third party or learn about dentistry all through the Internet anytime from anywhere.
The digital nervous system is made up of circuits, wires and chips, however it is more than technology; it is a mindset. It is a way of looking at the high tech world that allows non-technical professionals to understand technology not as individual machines but as components in a much bigger picture.
Once you understand this idea all the high tech hype starts to make sense. It is also a critical element to understanding why dentists need treatment room computers. The digital nervous system is already here; if you do not have a computer in the treatment room you cannot connect to the digital nervous system. If you aren’t connected you get very limited value from technology.