Medical student Gregory Shumer studied the electronic health record and scooted his laptop closer to the diabetic grandfather sitting on his exam table. "You can see," he pointed at the screen - weight, blood sugar and cholesterol are too high and rising.
The man didn't reveal he was too nearsighted to see those numbers, but he'd quietly volunteered that he'd been ignoring his own health after his wife's death. The future-Dr. Shumer looked away from the computer for a sympathetic conversation - exactly the point of Georgetown University's novel training program.
As the nation moves to paperless medicine, doctors are grappling with an awkward challenge: How do they tap the promise of computers, smartphones and iPads in the exam room without losing the human connection with their patients? Are the gadgets a boon, or a distraction?