Let’s welcome automation in clinical medicine

The longer I work in clinical medicine, the firmer my belief that a truly patient-centrist health system can be built only if we move away from hospital-centric medicine and let patients take charge of their health.

We need to consciously/purposefully move towards a clinical model where parts of the decision making process are augmented and even replaced by the machine, and happen between the patient and health-care tech. Making humans do the things we are so bad at makes no sense when we can have machines do it better.

People’s health in people’s hands means reducing the intervention and power doctors and health professionals have in the care-giving.

I see this increasingly in primary care where so much of the issues do not need a medical intervention. So many of these encounters are for answering “is this a serious problem?” and “make me well right now”.

Meeting a health professional if you have a non-serious issue is bad for both patient and doctor. Going to a doctor with a Upper respiratory infection increases your likelihood of getting an (unnecessary) antibiotic manyfold (stop justifying this, please).

On the medical side — we know that there are a lot of things GPs should be doing that they don’t have the time for, how about we welcome those things that truly do give us time — automation?

I long for a day when my patient can ask his mobile phone app if the sore throat he has is a simple viral thing or if he needs to see a human clinician (which he rarely does) and make an informed decision.

I don’t think that day is far.

PS: We have over the counter drugs, but still need medicos to tell people when/how to use them.

This was originally posted to LinkedIn

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