Last week STAT First Opinion carried the story of a young woman who learned of her BRCA1 (mutation predisposing to breast cancer) mutation on a 23andMe report. She describes the experience of processing that explosive bit of information in the isolation of her own mind and information network. Contrasting this experience with the confirmation of her status with a ... Continue Reading about The Physician and the Health Docent
Consumer-directed health technology is allowing people to be more involved their own health care. This week Apple turned on the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4. So many who have never seen a rhythm strip now can generate one on their wrist. Apple watch can help identify afib,the most common form of irregular heart rhythm. As one of the first diseases screened with a ... Continue Reading about Afib and Apple Watch – The Physician’s Emerging Role
Medical life in the future will be a series of real-time upgrades. We will all be endless newbies. That bears repeating. All of us—every one of us—will be endless newbies in the future simply trying to keep up. Here’s why: First, most of the important technologies that will dominate life 30 years from now have not yet been invented, so naturally you’ll be a newbie to ... Continue Reading about Medicine’s Endless Newbies
Running an algorithm for the management of a well-typed tumor or a child with a septic joint is relatively easy. But managing the expectations of that cancer patient or nervous mother is something more involved. Expectations are how we imagine the future given what we currently know and understand. Patient expectations are part of the human experience of ... Continue Reading about Human Experience of Disease and Patient Expectations
Are you for or against artificial intelligence in medicine? With the rise of machine learning in healthcare this is becoming more common question. When confronted with this question, MIT’s Max Tegmark responds, “Are you for or against fire?” Fire of course can keep us warm but can also be mishandled by arsonists and others with nefarious intent. The problem is our ... Continue Reading about Artificial Intelligence in Medicine – Are You For or Against?
Over time I suspect that patients have the ability to do more on our own without the oversight of doctors. Much like the slow obsolescence of the bank teller, our interface with the health system will move from human exchange to something more algorithmic and automated. Right now we want this. We don't like human inconvenience. But we still want the old thing. ... Continue Reading about Technology and the Power of Human Inconvenience