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

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

The 28 EU leaders care more about fiscal orthodoxy than effectively fighting youth unemployment

Greece @ MWC14: Greek-born mobile champions at MWC 2014

Scotland in United Kingdom: It’s either the end or the beginning of the end

G20 LIVE: G20 Statement on the fight against terrorism

Joris in Indonesia

Google strongly rejects EU antitrust charges and now gets ready for the worst to come

The US repelled EU proposals on common rules for banks

Eurozone 2013: Where to?

How much more social deterioration can the EU people endure?

Intel, Almunia and 1 billion euros for unfair potatoes

The succesful cooperation

Italy’s rescue operation Mare Nostrum shuts down with no real replacement. EU’s Triton instead might put lives at risk

Unanswered questions for Europe’s youth in President Juncker’s State of Union

It ain’t over until Google says it’s over

Migration crisis: how big a security threat it is?

Greece returns to markets at a high cost to taxpayers, after four years out in the cold

Why Commissioner Rehn wants us all to work more for less

TTIP: why it is worth not to pull the covers over your head?

EU Commission: a rise in wages and salaries may help create more jobs

Tax evasion and fraud threaten the European project

Fostering global citizenship in medicine

No way out for Eurozone’s stagnating economy

Britain heading to national schism on exit from EU

Cross-roads

The IMF sees Brexit’s ‘substantial impact’ while the world’s economy holds its breath

Is the EU competent enough to fight human smuggling in 2015?

OECD tells Eurozone to prepare its banks for a tsunami coming from developing countries

How Germany strives to mold ECB’s monetary policy to her interests

Banks suffocate the real economy by denying loans

Will Brexit shatter the EU or is it still too early to predict?

Assembly of European Regions @ European Business Summit 2014: The European regions on the path to recovery

Breaking barriers between youth in the new tech era: is there an easy way through?

IMF’s Lagarde indirectly cautioned Eurozone on deflation

Population in crisis hit EU countries will suffer for decades

Any doubt?

EU threatens Japan to suspend FTA negotiations if…

Migration crisis, a human crisis after all

The Banking Union divides deeply the European Union

A new crop of EU ‘Boards’ override the democratic accountability and undermine the EU project

Germany tries to save Europe from war between Ukraine and Russia

EU to gain the most from the agreement with Iran

EU countries invested €5 trillion abroad

What we need for a better European Solidarity Corps

Azerbaijan chooses Greek corridor for its natural gas flow to EU

ECOFIN: Protecting bankers and tax-evaders

French Prime Minister passes Stability Program and takes his ‘café’ in Brussels this June

Migration Crisis: how to open the borders and make way for the uprooted

EU Parliament raises burning issues over the FTA with the US

Why growth is now a one way road for Eurozone

The impossible end of the war in Syria

Access to healthcare: what do we lack?

Does EURES really exist?

Brussels wins game and match in Ukraine no matter the electoral results

New VAT rules in the EU: how a digital sea could have become an ocean

Yes, together we can make a change! YO!Fest and EYE 2016

ECB should offer more and cheaper liquidity if Eurozone is to avoid recession

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

Except Poland, can climate change also wait until 2021 for the EU Market Stability Reserve to be launched?

Why banks escape from competition rules but not pharmaceutical firms

What the US and the world can expect from the 8 November election?

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s