The Doctor Who Wasn’t There: Technology, History, and the Limits of Telehealth

The Doctor Who Wasn’t There traces the long arc of enthusiasm for—and skepticism of—electronic media in health and medicine. Over the past century, a series of new technologies promised to democratize access to healthcare. From the humble telephone to the connected smartphone, from FM radio to wireless wearables, from cable television to the “electronic brains” of networked mainframe computers: each

new platform has promised a radical reformation of the healthcare landscape. With equal attention to the history of technology, the history of medicine, and

the politics and economies of American healthcare, physician and historian Jeremy A. Greene explores the role that electronic media play, for better and for worse, in the past, present, and future of our health. Illuminating the social and technical contexts in which electronic medicine has been conceived and put into practice, Greene’s lecture shows the urgent stakes, then and now, for those who would seek in new media the means to build a more equitable future for American healthcare.



Jeremy A. Greene


William H. Welch Professor and Chair Department of the History of Medicine The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine