Dr. Robert Wachter

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Illustration credit: A.E. Kieren

Dr. Robert Wachter, Professor, chief of the division of hospital medicine, University of California, San Francisco

Wachter is well known in medical circles both for his role in growing the hospitalist movement and for his clinical acumen (he's currently interim chair of UCSF's department of medicine). But last year's publication of The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine's Computer Age exposed his thinking to a broad range of audiences, most of whom agreed with his assessment that the industry hasn't exactly struck its digital landing.

“At its core, it's not a technology story. It's a change story, a clinical story, even an ethical story,” Wachter explains. “People get it. They understand that [individuals working on digital transformation] aren't venal or stupid. They're reasonable people trying to do good things. It's just not working.”

The Digital Doctor captured the attention of some important audiences. Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for health in the UK, liked the book so much that he tapped Wachter to advise the country on its digital health strategy. His initial report is due in June.

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