The passing of Apple Computer's Steve Jobs has many in the health information technology industry reflecting on his impact. Among them:

Girish Navani, CEO and co-founder of eClinicalWorks:

Every entrepreneur thinks of Steve Jobs when building his or her business. His passing leaves behind a feeling of deep loss, especially at the knowledge that it will be another generation before the world finds another like him. Jobs was a leader, visionary and a perfectionist, and I am deeply saddened." 

Chuck Christian, CIO and director of information systems, Good Samaritan Hospital, Vincennes, Ind.:

"I've had the pleasure of growing up in the era of the personal computer and being a geek myself (I know you're shocked). I also had the pleasure of watching this industry grow up and mature.  Yesterday we lost one of the true visionaries of this era, Steve Jobs.  I was an early Apple fan and of the graphical user interface; yes, I'm old enough to remember having to set memory register switches and watch the blinking lights.

"I also remember Steve's NeXT computer, which I thought was an OS well before its time. I've always admired Steve for his ability to push the envelope; not only of the technology, but also the form factor and design.  Steve's (and Apple's) innovation caused many CIOs (not only in healthcare) to scramble to keep up with the pace of change and at times caused this CIO to scratch his head and wonder what was next and how fast can we really go.

"I think the game changer may have been the introduction of the iPad.  It was not designed as a replacement device, but there are many that been very successful in using it in place of bulky devices. In health care, this type of innovation in the device form factor will help us move the information closer to where it needs to be; in the clinician's hands.

"I'm sorry that Steve will not be with us to continue to push us in new directions and show us new, very cool technologies. I'm hoping that there is another with the vision, skill, and will to challenge us in new ways.  I have four adult daughters, so I know a thing or two about challenges. Mostly, I know that each challenge is a learning experience in disguise."

The start of "A Moment for Steve Jobs," personal reflections from John Halamka, M.D., CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston:

"Earlier this evening, I emailed my staff about the passing of Steve Jobs. Many responded that they were genuinely sad. It's not about being Apple 'fanboys' or disliking the competition. It's about recognizing the possibilities for what might have been if Steve had lived longer. In some ways, his death seems like Faustian bargain--revolutionalize the world with products beyond our imagination, then die too young."

The start of "A Tribute," from John Moore, managing partner at Chilmark Research, Cambridge, Mass.:

"When I was at MIT, a postdoc heard I had just picked up a brand spanking new Compaq 386 with dual 5.25 and 3.5  floppy drives. He wanted my computer bad for he needed it to do some robotics programming.

"This being my brand new computer with all the bells and whistles, I was very reluctant, besides, I had my own work to do on the computer, what was I to use instead?  He assured me that he only needed my computer for a month and that I could use his brand spanking new Macintosh SE in the meantime. I relinquished, we made the trade and I fell in love. When he came back a month later to trade back computers, I told him no, I was going to keep his and he could have mine. This was 1987. I never looked back."

 

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