If a driver is texting behind the wheel and crashes his car as a result of being distracted, is it the fault of the smartphone, or the driver?
For that matter, if a driver is reading a medical textbook behind the wheel and crashes his car, is it the fault of the book, or the driver?
Last week’s article in The New York Times about the potential for distraction among healthcare providers using smartphones on the job raises a similar question. But let’s be sensible here: Technology must be used and information must be consumed in a responsible manner. When it is not, the technology is not to blame, the user is.
The litany of advantages associated with mobile healthcare is compelling, and growing. But people are people, and poor judgment does exist in the world. Perhaps some surgeons really do need to be warned not to check Facebook while operating; hopefully, the number is small.