The Standards vs. The Individuals


I ran into Hans Oh at a meeting last night. A few years ago he blogged somewhere between agreement and disagreement with a presentation I gave at eHealth 2005 in which I argued that trying to make one-size-fits-all eHealth applications is, at best, wasted effort, and at worst, harmful.

That topic came up again last night. He commented on, “the siren song of standardization,” and it clarified a distinction for me: I think standards are fantastic for technology; they just aren’t so great for people. And so, of course, when people and technology interact, things get messy.

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