It’s been over a year since we have been asked to lead our teams through the crisis and attempt to dismantle the disruption. Much progress has been made, but it’s never made alone and no one can forecast exactly how we will emerge. Based on the last major disruption of the world, the commercial advent of the internet more than 20 years ago, it demonstrates there are exciting possibilities and parallels.
First, the basis for the internet was shaped through collaboration among research laboratories in academia and emerging technology companies. These early foundations were developed using known principles you can’t argue against like mathematics and science – credible and evidence-based. These early algorithms were developed not on the opinion of people who dislike or don’t believe in math, but on the best scientific evidence at the time. It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t fast, but sticking to what was verifiably true served the purpose.
The perpetual reimagination of what could be possible with the emerging technology hasn’t been fully realized. The digital transformation impacting dentistry through electronic records, digital workflows and patient communication has also not climaxed. In fact, I believe this is just the beginning and the pandemic has removed every obstacle for further digital transformation.
As we form new ecosystems and we evolve our cultures, this will require a different type of team member to maximize the speed and agility required today. The way dentists were trained in the early 1990s, without the use of the Internet or even emails, has been reimagined to provide a significant online portion. Kudos to the creative academic clinician-scientists who had to envision this on the fly in order to graduate dental students. The same magnitude of change will be required to train dental assistants, dental hygienists and the supporting admin and IT dental team of the future. Although there is pain in the change we are living through, the result will be a better delivery of value to our patients. And growing “pain” is the right word for it.
We are living together through innovation in motion and the reinvention of how we deliver patient care. This relies on an exciting possibility between reinventors to amplify performance and creating revolutionary services by combining artificial intelligence and the internet of things. And it all begins with trusting science from credible sources, not entertainment platforms.
About the Editor
Peter Fritz, is a full-time periodontist in Fonthill, ON and is on a mission to redefine the way people think about periodontal and implant wellness. He leads an extraordinary, collaborative, empowered team of clinicians, makers, scientists and artists who are all working together to innovate the dental specialty of periodontics and redefine the patient experience. He is an Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor, Division of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, Michael DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University and Adjunct Professor Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Centre for Bone and Muscle Research, Brock University.
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