In his latest piece for the New Yorker, Atul Gawande poses the following question:
There have been many examples of incredible technological solutions that fail to be used optimally. Gawande recounts the histories of surgical anesthesia and antiseptics both of which were invented in the mid 1800s. Surgical anesthesia was adopted within years, while antiseptics took decades. In an attempt to understand why, Gawande explains:
Later, using the global problem of death in childbirth as an example, Gawande reasons that the key is changing norms so that the new technologies can be adopted.
Human interaction — "people talking to people" as Gawande puts it — is critical to changing the norms. It is human interaction that allows trust to develop.
One way to change norms is through a startup. It appears that a startup-like mechanism that was used by a few German surgical dissidents who acted as the catalyst and demonstration for changing the norms around the use of antiseptics.