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

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

93 million children with disabilities ‘among the most likely to be left behind’: UN rights chief

Accelerating a more sustainable industrial revolution with digital manufacturing

Trust links up supply chains. How do you establish it in the digital era?

We need to talk about failure in the social sector

Israel is joining forces with Arab states to save coral from climate change destruction

Why banks escape from competition rules but not pharmaceutical firms

A critical European young voice on Net Neutrality: the distance between Brussels and Washington

The next EU President will first have to drink his tea at Downing Street

COP21 Breaking News_10 December: the final sprint of the Final Agreement Negotiations

Ambassador Zhang Ming: “Work Together for a Better Globalization”

EU’s new environmental policy on biofuels impacts both the environment and the European citizen

YO!Fest back in Strasbourg for the 2nd edition of the European Youth Event – 20-21 May 2016

Idlib deal could save three million ‘from catastrophe’ says UN chief, as militants are urged to lay down arms

What does global health translate into?

UN calls for support to implement Central Africa’s newly minted peace agreement

The global suicide rate is growing – what can we do?

‘Continuing absence’ of political solution to Israel-Palestine conflict ‘undermines and compounds’ UN efforts to end wholesale crisis

Parliament adopts new rules for short-stay visas

UN refugee agency presses States to aid 49 refugees stranded on Mediterranean

Can we balance conservation and development? Science says yes

The IMF overstates the risks for Eurozone and downgrades the threats for the US economy

Mechanism to protect democracy in the EU needed more than ever, says the EP

Main results of Environment Council of 09 October 2018

Better training ‘a necessary and strategic investment’ in peacekeeping that saves lives: Guterres

Monsoon rains turn millions of children’s lives ‘upside down’ across South Asia

EU’s Finance Ministers draft plan to raise tax bills of online giants like Google and Amazon

Access to health in the developped and developing world

Brexit: Britain and the Continent fighting the battle of Waterloo again

As inequality grows, the UN fights for a fairer world

Towards seamless patent registration and protection in 25 EU countries

This new form of currency could transform the way we see money

EU-China relations under investigation?

Trade, taxes and other takeaways from Li Keqiang’s speech to the World Economic Forum

ILO discusses world of work response to global refugee crisis

Militias force nearly 2,000 to leave Libyan capital’s largest shelter for internally-displaced: UNHCR

Scale of displacement across Myanmar ‘very difficult to gauge’, says UN refugee agency

Why Microsoft is a regular to Almunia’s

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “European unity and cooperation is being called on question”, Vice President Joe Biden criticizes from Davos

How to unleash the enormous power of global healthcare data

Britain in chaos: May stays as Tory leader and PM but none can defuse the Brexit time bomb

“We need to accelerate our negotiation on the China-EU Investment Treaty”, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang highlights from the 21st EU-China summit in Brussels

Pumping more money into banks but leaving them unregulated doesn’t help

Schools in Florida now have to teach mental and emotional health

“Leaked” TTIP document breaks post 8th negotiations round silence and opens door to critics

Brexit: UK business fear of a no-deal scenario preparing for the worst

After music and TV, where will the streaming revolution take us next?

UK Labour Party leader Corbyn readies to change Brexit political backdrop

5 technologies that will forever change global trade

The world needs carbon-neutral flying. Here’s how to bring it one step closer

The glimmers of hope in the latest dire climate report

Who is to lose from the 6-month extension of the EU economic sanctions against Russia?

Large parts of the world are growing more fragile. Here are 5 steps to reverse course

These are the world’s most positive countries

This Japanese company pays its employees to get a good night’s sleep

COP24: Huge untapped potential in greener construction, says UN environment agency

Sweden is a top performer on well-being. Here’s why

Could play be a game-changer for the world’s forests?

UN affirms ‘historic’ global compact to support world’s refugees

Eurozone banks are unable to support real economy’s dawning growth

Getting vaccinated should just be considered a human right?

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