Los Altos resident Allison J. Taylor was thinking about cybersecurity long before the pandemic. Hit with a serious bout of pneumonia, she was knocked out for three months.
“Three hours is a long time for me – three months is exceptional,” she said.
Taking so much time away from her marketing, coaching and consulting business, Thought
Marketing LLC, gave Taylor time to take stock.
“I realized, ‘OK, I really haven’t done things systemically, and bigger-impact-picture things, I need to reorient,’” she said. “And it made me make a lot of changes in my life.”
Approximately a year after returning to work, while mulling how she could use her expertise and business experience to help others, she met Sherri Douville at a board training event. Douville, a Los Gatos resident, was running a health-care company.
“Her view is that every nine minutes someone loses her life due to delayed information, which instantly resonated with me,” Taylor said of Douville.
For example, a patient might come into a hospital presenting with blood-pressure problems, so the physician texts a stroke specialist to determine whether the issue is a stroke or something else. If the stroke specialist isn’t able to respond in time, the patient could suffer brain damage within minutes.
Taylor began working with Douville’s company, Medigram, an instant messaging app that Douville describes as a “medical-grade WhatsApp.”
Douville said the purpose of her book and Medigram are fundamentally the same: tackling one of the leading causes of preventable death – delayed information. Douville developed the idea of writing a book that would bring all of the different voices in health care together on ways to improve mobile communications. She asked Taylor to contribute to the cybersecurity section of the book.
“Seven in the morning, every Thursday, we would all get on the phone and have really riveting interesting conversations,” Taylor recalled of the process. “Through those conversations, I learned so much.”
According to Douville, on top of contributing her cybersecurity chapter, Taylor “masterminded the messaging strategy” and marketing plan that has led the book to a spot on the Amazon
best-seller list for new releases in medical technology and medical informatics.
To Taylor, the resulting book, “Mobile Medicine: Overcoming People, Culture, and Governance,” is critical for two reasons.
First, its interdisciplinary chapters approach the health-care system holistically. She described her own field, cybersecurity, as “intrinsic with five other issues.” Concerns from cybersecurity to patient privacy and legal compliance “are at play for why that poor physician can’t just do their job,” Taylor noted.
Second, unlike academic research, the book provides specific guidance on how hospital administrators and other health-care workers can optimize their organizations’ use of mobile technology, something Taylor thinks can be of particular use to Los Altos residents.
“One of the things I love about this town, people are very inspiring. They are well read, well resourced,” she said. “I think there’s the leadership strata in Los Altos. I would totally think this is relevant to fill the knowledge gaps.”
Beyond those in leadership positions, Taylor said the book can help cultivate empathy not only for frontline health-care workers, but also for others facing the stress of health care’s high stakes, especially as the pandemic has lead cybersecurity threats to skyrocket.
Taylor has practical advice for patients as well – speak out when you have concerns about cybersecurity and ask your care team how you can help doctors use mobile communications.
“Don’t just raise it as a problem – say, “Is there anything I can do as a patient to help you give me better care?’” Taylor advised. “Because hearing it from the patient view, it really helps the organization prioritize security.”
With one book (chapter) under her belt, Taylor is working on writing a book on product management.
“Mobile Medicine” is available on Amazon.