The Digital Nervous System

In his best selling book from 2000 “Business @ the Speed of Thought” Bill Gates says that “business will change more in the next ten years than it has in the last fifty.” He bases this prediction in large part on what he calls “the digital nervous system”. What that refers to 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 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 and specialists. The patient would also be connected able to get appointment or account information, contact a third party or learn about dentistry all through the Internet anytime from anywhere.

Digital information can be many things including words, numbers, photos, sounds, movies, x-rays or even a solid object.  Once an item is digitized there are three significant things you can do with it. You can store transmit and manipulate the information electronically. That’s it, that’s the digital revolution. At first glance it may not seem too important but in action it literally changes everything. The digital exchange of data is what’s behind the PC revolution, its what powers the Internet, it is Gates’ digital nervous system, it is the essence of the information age.

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