Doctors vs. Industry 4.0: who will win?

IFMSA 2017 pic.jpg

(IFMSA, 2017)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Alexander Brezina. The writer is a German national studying medicine at the Catholic University of Louvain. He is also affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

Change happens all the time, but we tend to realize its full scale only once it concerns our personal lives. In the so called “4th Industrial Revolution”, meaning the ever increasing automatization of complex processes. Hence ,a lot of people might lose their jobs, be it taxi drivers to self-driving cars or waiters to sophisticated robots.

As medical students, we look at this with empathy for the people concerned, but it still seems far away, because it cannot happen to doctors, or can it?

The supercomputer Watson from IBM is being further redefined as a diagnosis and treatment aid that can go through hundreds of journal articles, treatment guidelines, electronic patient data and doctors’ notes to help answering diagnostic questions, initially to help us. However, now we get ourselves hit by a self-driving car, as we cannot compete: gather all that data, read ALL the new literature, neither care for our families nor our sleep.

If we cannot beat him in this game, what can we do?

Medical technology is there to serve the patient, and so we should learn how to use it when needed No one can possibly know all the interactions of drugs, but there are some good sites and apps for this purpose. Furthermore, in medical education, new and more evolved machines which can simulate patients that breath, have a heartbeat to name but a few features, are now being used.

However, everything comes with a price, so we should also discuss with the patient how far they want to go in sharing their data make sure that they  know what those health apps they use do with the date collected? There have even been cases of data for millions of patient stolen from the British National Health Service, so we should never be careless with our data but handle it responsibly

Responsibility should also be one of the key attributes for a doctor in the new age: Even if the most developed software proposes something, it is still our decision and we bear the burden: How can you possibly defend your actions to a family who has just lost a loved one if all you have to say is basically: “Well, I pushed the buttons I was told to push and it did not work.”

Last but not least, our biggest strength and skill to develop must be our humanity. Watson is supposed to learn how to understand patients’ complaints explained using their natural language.  But will he be able to read between the lines?  Will he be capable of compassion, often essential to the healing process? Doctors, too, feel pain. They too, can try to fathom what it would be like for a family to have their main earner not able to work anymore. Doctors, too, have cried, tasted of all the feelings on the buffet of human existence.

All of the above makes our specificity, we should continue to keep our heads up high and treat not just diseases but the patient as a whole.

About the author

German national spent a year in the US before coming  to study in Brussels at Catholic University of Louvain, to combine medicine and French. He then continued his passion for multiculturalism with two Erasmus exchanges, one to the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya in Barcelona, where he first came into contact with IFMSA and wanted to establish it at hisuniversity. He did another Erasmus exchange to the Universidade do Porto, in Porto, Portugal. In his spare time, he likes indoor climbing and learning more languages, and of course, IFMSA.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The sustainable fashion revolution is well underway. These 5 trends prove it

Changing for the change: Medicine in Industry 4.0

5 ways to integrate Syrian refugees into the workforce

Eurobarometer: Not a single answer about what the Banking Union will cost to citizens

A European young student speaks about the Youth Policies of the European Commission

Europe’s top court hears Intel and sends € 1.06 bn antitrust fine to review

Spending another 3 billion euros on Turkey feels better than admitting EU’s failure

Sweden has a plan to end all traffic accident deaths

Grexit no longer a threat but how to manage a “tutti frutti” government if not with fear?

A Sting Exclusive: “Leading by example! EU must push for UN deal to avoid dangerous climate change”, European Parliament Vice-President Ulrike Lunacek cries out from Brussels

7 amazing ways artificial intelligence is used in healthcare

Cross-roads

Berlin repels proposal for cheaper euro

Islamophobia is driving more US Muslims to become politically engaged, suggests report

New rules on drivers’ working conditions and fair competition in road transport

G20 LIVE: G20 Antalya Summit in Numbers, 15-16 November 2015

The power of trust and values in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

WHO study reveals ‘game-changer’ drug with potential to save thousands of women’s lives in childbirth

Higher education becoming again a privilege of the wealthy?

Somalia: UN urges steps to ensure future elections not ‘marred’ by rights abuses seen in recent polls

France pushes UK to stay and Germany to pay

Any doubt?

Main results of G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Falling inflation urges ECB to introduce growth measures today

Diana in Vietnam

The European Sting live from the World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

EU Budget 2019: focus on the young, on migration and innovation

India’s agro-food sector has made strong progress, but a new policy approach is needed to meet future challenges, says new report by OECD and ICRIER

EU to relocate 40,000 migrants across the bloc: first step of a long due substantial reform?

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Carbon Price Needed for Climate Change Success

Draghi repels Trump’s threats, rejects Schauble’s dictums

How digital is your country? Europe needs Digital Single Market to boost its digital performance

The West and Russia took what they wanted from Ukraine

London wants to treat violent crime like a disease

EU summit: No energy against tax evasion and fraud

The vehicles of our future

China’s New Normal and Its Relevance to the EU

MWC 2016 LIVE: The top 5 themes of this year’s Mobile World Congress

Sponsored content: when QUALITY meets OPEX in manufacturing

The widely advertised hazards of the EU not that ominous; the sting is financial woes

LEAGUE OF YOUNG VOTERS LAUNCHES TOOL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO COMPARE POLITICAL PARTIES AHEAD OF EU ELECTIONS

ECB: Growth measures even before the German elections

Catalonia’s vote for independence and the power of symbols

A European Discovers China: 3 First Impressions

Exchanges of medical students and the true understanding of global health issues

European Energy Union: Integration of markets and need for in-house energy production

Why do humanitarian crises disproportionately affect women?

The new EU “fiscal compact” an intimidation for all people

It’s EU vs. Google for real: the time is now, the case is open

We need to talk about integration after migration. Here are four ways we can improve it

EU and Australia launch talks for a broad trade agreement

The Future of Retail: Changing shopping patterns will mean retailers need to invest in costly and complex solutions

America writes-off Iran, blocks Europe’s Tehran talks

COP21 Breaking News_10 December: UN Climate Chief Calls for Final Push to Meet Adaptation Fund Goal Very Close to Target

US and Mexico child deportations drive extreme violence and trauma: UNICEF

Why EU’s working and unemployed millions remain uncertain or even desperate about their future

Draghi’s ‘quasi’ announcement of a new era of more and cheaper money

Varna (Bulgaria) awarded European Youth Capital 2017

Me and China

Central American migrants must be protected, urge UN experts

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s