Doctors or Algoritmes

Because there have been a lot of reaction on the Ethical problem of replacing doctors. I looked for some good articles to let you think about the situation.
The article goes about what can software in the form of a algorithm do with the healthcare. Vinod Khosla looked at what can technology do as a social impact on healthcare and education. He supprised himself with the anser that a lot of jobs for teachers and doctors will vanish. They will be replaced with a algorithm or a computer. The main problem will be the doctor-patient relationship. Even if we know that a computer will have better results then a doctor. Even than people will easier rely on “what the doctor said” then what the computer screen says.
I agree totally. And I think every scientist will agree on any other Data. If data 1 is less accurate then data 2 you use data 2. So we will have to convince everyone that data 2, the algoritm is just better then the doctor. We see doctors as people who are always right. But that is not the truth. You have always a human error. And by clouding all the solutions of previous doctors in an algorithm those errors will drop fall of.
Then there is the ethical part. Ask yourself this question, what happens when a doctors makes a mistake. With a mistake I don’t mean cut in the wrong Eye or something. I mean he thinks a person has an other disease than actually true. If He made a big mistake and the patient dies because of his failure. He has a trail to see if he could know. What they then do is asking a lot of other doctors what they would do and see if he made the error or did the patient had a very special disease or an special case.
Imaging now the algorithm, The algorithm already has the opinions of a lot of doctors. So the Jury at the end , if the algorithm is wrong, will just have to say. We need to add a little sidenote in the algorithme so that this will not happen again.
Instead of this happens with every patient with this disease who has a doctor who haven’t got this problem. It only will be ones global.

The longer the algorithme works, the higher it’s quality. Doctors will not disappear very fast , but the quantity will go down. Again a high payed Job that decreases in quantity.

http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/10/doctors-or-algorithms/
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-09/04/doctors-replaced-with-machines

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4 thoughts on “Doctors or Algoritmes

  1. alexandervankerckhoven

    Personally I don’t see a doctor as a person who’s always wrong. But when I go to the hospital (doctor) I won’t someone who listens to me, know that he understands me. If that’s going to change in algoritmes or computers I think many people who have a good relation with their doctor won’t like it.

    The same goes like when you go to a restaurant: you want some human contact and not being served by a machine.

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  2. gerbenpeeters3dee

    Interesting subject. I believe that in the end, algorithms will replace doctors in the way we see doctors now. And I strongly believe it would benefit us all. In a transient period I see doctors being aided with those algorithms (the doctors provide the inputs) instead of replaced. So all the people looking for a conversation with a doctor don’t have to panic yet. But if you really need a chat instead of a solution, maybe you should visit a psychologist instead. How I see the future with the algorithms evolving further: doctors won’t have to waste their time anymore in diagnosing patients. Instead they can all focus on developing new drugs. Researching unknown or currently untreated deceases. Thus both the doctors and algorithms will help us. And people unwilling to take advice from a computer, well let us just let our friend Darwin take care of them.

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  3. frederikroosens

    Indeed, doctors do make mistakes. On the short term, instead of algorithms, it is very useful to let doctors, nurses and pharmacists cooperate. Pharmacists know which drug can cure which desease, doctors know which symptoms indicate which desease, and nurses can follow up the daily evolution of the patient. However, still today, the doctor makes the prescriptions for the medicine, even though pharmacists know much better what the medicines should be. This is still a relict from the time doctors were “all knowing semi-gods”. Acknowledging that exchanging communication can help patients is a first step to take. The next one is the use of algorithms. From then on, I agree completely with Gerben.

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