In The Innovator’s Prescription Clayton Christensen details how technology is disrupting health care. He describes the provision of medical care as occurring on a spectrum ranging from intuitive medicine to precision medicine. Intuitive medicine is care for conditions loosely diagnosed by symptoms and treated with therapies of unclear efficacy. Precision medicine is the delivery of care for diseases that can be precisely diagnosed and with predictable, evidence-based treatments. Intuitive medicine is almost entirely dependent upon clinical judgment. Precision medicine not as much. 19th century medicine was intuitive; the 21st century will prove precise.
When we think about our role as doctors, we like to see ourselves as providers of intuitive medicine. It’s how we were all trained – products of 20th century mentoring. And so we see of ourselves just as indispensable as we were 100 years ago. But as medicine makes its march toward predictive care all of this will change.
There’s an endemic insecurity among the 21st century doctors: we want the precision that technology brings while at once proving that we can still do it all with our hands. So many are fighting to keep medicine intuitive – it keeps us relevant. Artificial intelligence, after all, doesn’t do intuition like we can. For now anyway.
Stay tuned as the 21st century unfolds.
(The links to The Innovator’s Prescription represent affiliate links.)