Thursday, April 03, 2014

Aw, let the robot

Gina Siddiqui, Nextgov magazine, Apr 2, 2014, says as a physician she sees herself being replaced by a robot.

Under that health care thing, fewer docs will be staying in the profession. Physician assistants and advanced practice nurses will be elevated, and eventually robots can handle a lot of what we call medical care now.

(I hate the automatic blood pressure cuff squeezing the life out of me...)

First, she says, we have the DaVinci surgical system, operated by a doctor sitting at a computer.

Then computers to remind docs of correct dosages of meds and possible interactions. Well, that's good, thanks.

Now come the virtual avatars called "relational agents" to talk to pesky patients and remind them not to eat and to take their meds. These little devils can even "watch" the pills go down.

She says her generation cannot even examine patients anymore.

She says pretty soon docs will talk about life and death with you, comfort through cancer treatments, and lay healing hands. The bots will be doing the rest.

I know my sister is scheduled for something called "a talking physical." What the heck is that? Who talks--the patient or the robot?

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