Thursday, February 28, 2008

NHS Manga

I have toyed with the title of this post ... Manga, Manga Medicine, Medical Manga ... but finally decided on the above.

I am totally ignorant of the Japanese cartoon and comic book art form of Manga (with both adult and children´s sub-cultures) but its influence on the cartoons now shown to UK Children is interesting as the photo of our TV screen by Jaime shows. And I would probably have been into it had I grown up at the right time.

I used to watch Tom and Jerry, Scooby Doo, Tom Cat and various other Hanna & Barbera productions, and when they are repeated on the BBC, Jaime and Kezia are equally enchanted.

However, kids are now into the enormous Manga-influenced cartoon industry and Hanna & Barbera and Disney seem to have gone out of the window.

It is notable that the violence of children´s cartoons has never changed. Tom and Jerry´s and Bugs Bunny´s sticks of dynamite may have changed to laser guns or whatever other fabulous weapons´ technology, but the violence still exists.

I don´t remember the name of the cartoon from which Jaime took his television shot but it was certainly one of his better digital photograpy efforts. He discovered the capabilities and special effects (video, colour negative, sepia, B & W etc) alot sooner than I.

In other IT developments the medical community is slowly becoming aware of the potentials of Web 2.0 - there is a small but growing awareness of how this can potentially help the medical profession.

However, the trialling of Google Health in the States, whereby patient medical records are stored on Google servers, is leading to security and privacy concerns even if one does not doubt the reliability of Google´s IT infrastructure. Certainly, in the UK, we would protest most strongly at the involvement of Google Health in our NHS IT infrastructure ... but ironically, they would probably do a better job at it than our government´s IT spine project.

Ironically, this US poster is impressed by NHS London´s use of the Web 2.0 application Second Life to promote Polyclinics. (What percentage of NHS London patients go to 2nd Life?).

Methinks, however, the BMA should shurely respond with their own 2nd Life versions of a polyclinic and a current GP practice ...

In the meantime ... I think we should use Manga-like 2nd Life avatars to teach our medical students surgery, general practice, oncology etc ... or maybe even train our NHS managers.

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