I was reading this interview with an MIT scientist who developed a machine learning tool to assess pain. At the end of the interview he remarked in a reassuring tone that his development will not replace doctors.
I am seeing this more frequently in the context of medical technology. Developers are quick to to reassure us that whatever we are talking about will not cut into what a doctor does. This is like saying the echocardiogram won’t ever replace physical diagnosis with the stethoscope. And the CT? That’s good and all but it will never replace the old-fashioned laying-on of hands.
I’m not sure why we feel the need to create the illusion that doctors will always be just as they’ve always been. Maybe developers looking for clinical traction don’t want to make doctors mad. Perhaps we don’t want to make patients nervous.
Irrespective of who’s mad or nervous, technology is replacing a lot of what we used to do with our eyes and hands. This is medicine’s new reality.
It’s up to the doctors to decide how they will participate in medicine’s redefinition. The best way to predict the future is to create it.
And no one needs to cover for us.