Monday, September 12, 2011

From Voice Mail Hell to Flash Crashes: Now Your Doctor is a Computer Algorithm

...if WellPoint is the provider of your government-mandated health insurance and, as the nations largest such entity, it likely is. Here's the press release as it appeared in something called "Business and Health":
...WellPoint said it plans to use Watson's data-crunching to help suggest treatment options and diagnoses to doctors, which is part of a general trend for incorporating computer-influenced supervision into care.

Insurers say the procedure would ensure that doctors and hospitals who adopt electronic medical records and other digital tools will be capable of recording, tracking and checking their work.

The company added that they hope the technology will ...reduce costs.
"Imagine having the ability within three seconds to look through all of that the moment you're caring for that patient," WellPoint's chief medical officer, Dr. Sam Nussbaum, told the Associated Press.
To paraphrase a visionary from another era, "Imagine there's no doctor..."


Blogger Dantes said...

This is the true goal of the electronic medical record. Not to improve care...but to ration it according to population based guidelines. More and more doctors are being employed by hospitals, which means their allegiance will be to whomever is signing their paycheck.

If the electronic medical record shows that a doctor is deviating from the guidelines to provide the care he or she thinks is best for the patient, then said doctor will be "counseled" to get in line...or find another job.

The problem with population based guidelines and computer generated algorithms is that sometimes, your disease doesn't read them. Doctors often practice based on the sixth sense they develop after years of training...such intuitive thinking will be verboten in the future.

11:09 AM  

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