Looking for Some Summer Reading ideas? Take a Stroll Through our Future-of-Health Library | Deloitte US has been saved
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By Sarah Thomas, managing director, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Deloitte Services LP
I’m a native of Washington, D.C., which is notorious for its hot, sticky summer days and monsoon-like early evening thunderstorms. I never can understand why anyone would choose my fair city for a summer vacation. During the day, the National Mall is often full of sweaty tourists who trudge from one memorial to the next before finally seeking sanctuary in an air-conditioned museum. I tell visitors to embrace the weather—slow down, sit in the shade, and maybe enjoy a glass of iced tea. Sometimes that is enough to make the outdoors bearable (at least until the mosquitos find you).
Whether outside or in, summer is a great time to read. We all had summer reading lists as kids, and vacation offers a nice opportunity to dig into our beach reads or crack a book that has been collecting dust since winter.
The future of health is not in the science fiction section
If you haven’t done so already, I recommend digging into some of the interesting reports and articles we’ve published recently—around the future of health. For these papers and articles, we try to imagine what health is likely to look like in 2040 and during some of the years in between.
We have also published several short articles that indicate the future of health might already be here. In case you missed them, here are three recent “Breaking Boundaries” stories from the Health Care Current:
Reading lists, both paper and digital
I recently discovered the Goodreads app, which is helping me manage the list of books I want to read. I’ve always embraced technology that solves for a problem—in this case, trying to remember all the books that friends have recommended, or books I want to read based on reviews that I found particularly interesting. I’m using it less for its potential social aspect (I just have three friends on it), though I see its potential there. I also enjoy the gamification aspect: the app has a 20-book summer reading challenge. I’m up to 16, so on pace to meet the challenge (and ahead of my friends, it turns out).
While I’m using this new technology to manage my lists, I continue to rely on old technology—such as the local library and the little free libraries in our neighborhood—to find the books.
And another fun read
I recently finished The Lost Cyclist, by David Herlihy. This novel pulls together the early evolution of bicycles—from the high-wheel bikes of the late 1800s to the so-called “safety bicycles” that followed. The book includes stories about some of the first intrepid American cyclists to “girdle” or circle the world. It was fun to imagine how or why someone would even contemplate such an endeavor—without smart-phone navigational tools or apps to translate languages (not to mention the lack of paved roads or comfortable bike seats).
While technology has solved many of the problems those pioneers faced (I wonder what they would think of our modern-day gear) there are still risks—think of the traffic alone. And even if we don’t call the bad guys “brigands” anymore, globe-circling cyclists still face threats today. By 2040, maybe those issues will have also been solved by technology.
Happy summer reading!
1. US Census Bureau population projections
Sarah is the managing director of the Center for Health Solutions, part of Deloitte LLP’s Life Sciences & Health Care practice. As the leader of the Center, she drives the research agenda to inform stakeholders across the health care landscape about key trends and issues facing the industry. Sarah has more than 13 years of government experience and has deep experience in public policy, with a focus on Medicare payment policy.