Check out Where does the Doctor Stop and the Computer Begin? by Jim Salwitz over on KevinMD. I adore Dr. Jim Salwitz. He represents one of the infosphere’s most insightful minds in oncology.
But I have a problem with the title.
It assumes a dichotomy between man and machine. An allocation of effort that’s on us or on them with a boundary separating where they stop and we begin. A kind of digital dualism.
Soon enough, man and machine in medicine will become terminally inseparable
The post-human era of medicine will bring a type of invisible background processing of data that will allow us to do more comfortably what we do best. If done right, where the machine leaves off and we take over will become irrelevant.
And as every physical object in the healthcare space begins recording data and as these objects connect, cooperate and process, the concept of ‘a computer’ or even machine will become something of a charming skeuomorph.
Watson’s model of augmented intelligence puts us on that trajectory. Doctors and patients together supported by the type of information processing humans can’t even conceive of. I suspect that this capacity for nearly invisible support will create a workflow that will leave us to more comfortably do what we do best