I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the thousands of loyal HealthBlog readers around the world for your continued encouragement and support. When I started this blog in 2006, blogging was still a novelty. The idea for starting HealthBlog was suggested by my Microsoft manager at the time. At first I pushed back. “Why would I spend precious time writing a blog?”, I said. “Would anyone read it or even care?” He convinced me to give it a whirl. I remained skeptical. After all, much of my career as a physician and healthcare executive, besides caring for patients, had been spent working with local television stations and national television networks. I was used to speaking to hundreds of thousands, sometime millions of people at a time. “Seriously”, I thought, “How may people could I reach with a blog?”.
Of course the audience for HealthBlog didn’t build to big numbers overnight. Anyone who has started writing a blog knows this. It takes a lot of time to build an audience. But slowly over the years the audience has grown. More importantly, unlike the audiences from my television days, the audience for HealthBlog consists of exactly the people we want to reach; clinicians, healthcare executives, business leaders, tech enthusiasts, students and yes, some interested consumers and patients.
As 2012 comes to an end, I look forward to the opportunity to continue sharing thoughts, observations, innovations, best practices, and other topics that I come across in my role here at Microsoft and in my travels around the world. We’ve really only scratched the surface on the transformation of health and healthcare around the globe. I’ve spent far too many years in this industry to expect a revolution. Evolution is far more likely although the need for change has never been more acute, and the opportunity afforded by technology has never been better.
So, may I wish all of you a Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Hopefully the Mayans got it wrong and we’ll all be gathering here again on January 2nd. If so, I look forward to the dialogue. For now, I’m going to take a bit of downtime over the Holidays. I recommend you do the same if you possibly can. Reflect on the good things. Hug a loved one (my wife and my mother, who is in extraordinary health and celebrated her 90th birthday in October, are in the photo above). Give to someone who needs your help. Be thankful for this life and all the possibilities in your future. And hopefully, Santa has been listening to what you want or need and you’ll get something better than a lump of coal in your stocking this year.
Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft