Even in science fiction is no such that doctors would have completely replaced computers. In “Star Trek,” for example, holographic doctors were commonplace. But to be treated only in case of an emergency. On board the ship, as a rule, must be a full-fledged doctor.

In real life, we are consulting with computers instead of doctors using the Internet to search for symptoms and care about before you go to the reception. While this is not the same that apply to the real man, there is no trust, and some people believe that computers can never replace real doctors for this reason. Computers can not spend long consultation, pulling every bit of information that may be useful to form a diagnosis, they do not show compassion, empathy and are not liable. We do not go to doctors for communication, but also to communicate with the machine is not always pleasant.

If there is a preliminary answer to the question in the title, it will be “relatively”. Will outdated medicine area of ​​professional activity in the future? Probably not. Will computers replace doctors in certain matters? Most likely, yes. The only thing we know for sure is that the medicine of the future will be radically different from what we know it today.

As experts evaluate the role of robots and computers in medicine of the future? Let’s talk.

Man or machine?

Computers are becoming more advanced, and many people believe that they will be able to replace the doctors at least to some extent. Dr. Kent Bottls argues that “within five years of emergency room physicians will be replaced by sociable humanoid robots, avatars and computer programs.” He believes that doctors are still in place, but the computers will assume the basic functions of ambulance assistants. Many diseases that Bottls calls “chronic diseases, following the rules” (which we understand from a scientific point of view) can be diagnosed with the help of computers, including type II diabetes. This leaves doctors time of diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases that require more intuition and thinking, such as schizophrenia.

Farhad Manju, technical writer, whose wife – a pathologist, agrees that computers will replace doctors, but the experience is worth explicitly ambulance assistants and doctors for general use. Specialist doctors – his wife – that is, who is in danger. Manju said that “robots are excellent specialists. They can do the same thing countless times, and if you focus, it simply has no equal. ” Because doctors of general purpose define a fairly wide range of diseases and conditions, they are too generic to deprive them of their jobs. They also have an important in this case, communication skills.

There is another opinion. Ezra Klein points out that doctors who know medicine is not able to communicate so well. At least not always. Computers may also be separate “communication, the element of human activity, from the technical diagnosis.” Klein said that much more important are the nurses and nurse. So maybe the doctors of general purpose and lose their job, but we still need the people with a medical background who will talk with us and send the information to a computer. Very many professions now include human and computer quality, for example, an accountant.

Robotic Surgery
da Vinci

Since the advent of robotic surgery in 1985, it has attracted a lot of attention. Today is very common surgical system da Vinci. This system with a 3D-camera, which displays the surgeon occurring in a patient’s body, and also uses robotic arms to maintain instruments inside the body of the patient. The system recognizes the hand movements of the surgeon, using manipulators, and repeats them in the body, allowing you to make tiny incisions, the surgeon that he can not do. This system is used in over 800 hospitals in the United States and Europe. But until 2010, no surgery was not carried out their own robot – were only handles, mirrors the movement of the surgeon. In 2010, there were totally robotic surgery – the surgeon pressed a few buttons, but not manipulated tools yourself.

Robots are also used to diagnose and treat diseases. The Pap test – test, which most women are familiar – helps to diagnose cervical cancer. Slides are often analyzed by an automatic system, which must provide areas of concern for subsequent human analysis. This process leads directly to the computer diagnosis of diseases.

Watson, an artificial intelligence IBM, known for his victory over the contestants program «Jeopardy!» In 2011, is also used for diagnosis. The machine can use their scientific knowledge and natural language capabilities to receive a call from the doctor and help him arrange the diagnosis.

The question remains: Will people ever refer to a computer instead of a doctor? Bottls doctor thinks so. He cites the example of an avatar medical kiosk at the booth World Science Festival in 2011. Young mother appealed to the kiosk, Concerned diarrhea her child. It turned out that the avatar was more compassionate in a relationship with the child and his mother, a nurse than usual, which communicated mother in hospital in New York. However, kiosks diagnosticians are no longer a novelty, albeit under development .

While we feel the care and get an accurate diagnosis and treatment, no matter who provides it: a person or a robot.

I suspect that all people are equally apply to doctors. All we talked with the professionals. Some doctors are just incredibly cool. But there were also those who did not speak more than two words and do not maintain eye contact. No one asked about the day when we found uncomfortable. Often doctors are wrong, well, the wildest dreams of a better world were receiving except that after watching the show “House”. If a doctor – not a familiar and not a family, then the chances of that communication with him will be a pleasant, are one to two. It is better to apply to the robot.


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