Technology is in the process of completely transforming all aspects of 4 industries – construction, medicine, retail, and transport – with a significant reduction in the need for human labor. Here is the impact on Medicine, where, within 10-20 years (or less), it is reasonable to expect that:
- Most diseases will be eradicated (although some new ones may develop).
- We will be wearing sensors that constantly monitor our health, and immediately start a remedial process when something is wrong (from ordering medications, to booking an appointment with a medical specialist, or dispatching an ambulance).
- Medication dosage and anesthetics will be customized for our personal situation (weight, age, medical history, genetic makeup, etc.)
- Medication will be delivered at the required frequency and dosage from automatic dispensers.
- All medical testing (blood, imaging, etc.) will be automated, with analyses confirmed (at least for a while) by specialists who may reside remotely.
- All surgery will be minimally invasive or replaced by the use of nanobots. Some surgery will be performed remotely.
- Defective organs will be replaced by transplants built from our own stem cells.
- Limbs and eyes will be replaced by brain-controlled prostheses that operate more effectively than human versions. (The $6 Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman may no longer be fiction!)
- Living to an age of 130-150 years will be normal with a good quality of life.
The technologies, which will make this vision a reality, include AI, Robotics, Nanotechnology, and Biotechnology (gene editing via CRISPR-Cas9 with its enormous potential and considerable dangers).
The impact of these technologies on the medical profession is considerable. As with all professions, lower-level functions will be replaced by automation, but so will many specialists. There is already a suggestion that medical schools stop training radiologists (see below) as the ability of AI routines to analyze medical images is starting to match that of specialists, and will soon exceed it. As the above vision starts to be implemented, the need for general practitioners will reduce. (From as far back as 1979, studies have shown that people are more honest in responding to computer terminals – or robots – than to nurses or GPs.)
The jobs in the medical profession that will likely last longer are those requiring direct patient contact. So psychiatrists and psychologists will be around for the foreseeable future, and may be more in demand as society learns to cope with a world without paid work. (On the other hand, a client of Nick’s was developing a computer-based program to provide cognitive behavioral therapy about 15 years ago.). While the need for nurses and administrators in doctors’ offices will disappear, nurses will still be needed to provide hospital and community patient care.
LEARN FROM THESE YOUTUBE VIDEOS
… AND LEARN MORE FROM THESE ADDITIONAL VIDEOS
Doctor in a box – telehealth access (AI – 2018-01 – ZDNet)
Glaucoma specialists not needed for laser treatment (Laser/Opthamology – 2017-06 – Belkin)
REVIEW THESE INFORMATIVE ARTICLES – AND READ THOSE THAT INTEREST YOU
The first robot-assisted spinal surgery is successful using Da Vinci robotic arms (Robotics/Surgery - 2018-05 - Engadget)
AI is better than dermatologists at diagnosing skin cancer (AI/Dermatology - 2018-05 - ScienceBlog)
Diagnostic imaging computers outperform human counterparts (AI/Diagnosis - 2018-04 - Case Western Daily)
• Diagnosing heart failure: 97% accuracy c.f. 74% for two pathologists.
• Distinguishing benign from malignant lung nodules on CAT scans: 5-8% superior to two human experts.
• Prostate cancer scans: computational imaging algorithms detected cancer in an MRI scan in >70% of cases where radiologists missed and correctly detected no cancer in 50% of cases where radiologists reported cancer.
AI is quicker and more effective than humans in analyzing heart scans (AI/Imaging - 2018-03 - Technology.org)
AI can diagnose prostate cancer as well as a pathologist (AI/Pathology - 2018-03 - Science Business)
Robot-assisted knee replacement surgery is coming (Robotics/Surgery - 2018-02 - ZDNet)
AI diagnoses eye diseases within 30 seconds with >95% accuracy (AI/Opthamology - 2018-02 - Technology.org)
AI shown reliable in recognizing and classifying 3 major eye diseases (AI/Opthamology - 2018-01 - Futurism)
A prominent AI researcher suggested that advances in AI mean that medical schools “should stop training radiologists now.” (AI/Radiology - 2018-01 - MIT Technology Review)
The first robot that could be licensed to practice medicine (Robotics/General Practice - 2017-11 - Futurism)
World-first: 3D-printed tantalum knee joint implanted in a Chinese patient (Additive Manufacturing/Implants - 2017-11 - en.people.cn)
Microscopic robots made from spirulina can travel inside the body guided by magnets (Robotics/Pharmacology - 2017-11 - Sciencemag)
NYC patient receives Australian-made 3D-printed sternum and rib cage transplant (Additive Manufacturing/Implants - 2017-10 - Technology.org)
Swallowable robots could be the future of healthcare (Robotics/Pharmacology - 2017-10 - ZDNet)
Spine surgery faster and safer with a robot (Robotics/Surgery - 2017-10 - ZDNet)
A Chinese robot dentist operated on a human patient for the first time (Robotics/Dentistry - 2017-09 - Futurism)
Switzerland joins Rwanda and Tanzania with a network of drones delivering medical supplies (Drone/Hospital - 2017-09 - Fast Company)