KW

IM SORRY SIR, BUT I THINK YOU HAVE ELEPHANTIASIS OF THE BALLS

According to the Institute of Medicine, 12 million Americans are misdiagnosed each year by their doctors and will suffer from at least one wrong or delayed medical diagnosis during their lifetime. That means, 1 in every 20 adult patients can potentially go home thinking they have the case of the sniffles when they really have the good ol’ clap, causing severe harm both mentally and physically. “Dang this flu is really making my vag burn…”

In 1999, IOM reported that up to 98,000 people die each year due to hospital mistakes. Luckily, cyberchondria has hindered my ability to seek medical advice, and my dependance on Google searches has spared me my life, and though I may have Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressive from typing in “headache with mild stiffness” – I feel just fine.

What if your doctor was a robot? As technology advances, robots are finding themselves employed in clinical environments. Some can perform surgery with the assistance of a real doctor, some can dispense pills, and hand out meals, and one day, some will be able to wipe the asses of the elderly. Though it is possible that a robot may be used to suggest a diagnosis, or even make a second or first opinion, the doctor will always have the final say – keeping robots at bay and the doctor with pay.

IBM has created a Master bot named Watson, who has a bigger picture in mind like, – curing cancer “Fuck the police.” Partnering with the New York Genome Center (NYGC), Watson is assisting oncologists in DNA-based treatments for a common type of brain cancer that kills more than 13,000 Americans every year called glioblastoma. Doctors have to deal with massive amounts of data, from full genomic sequencing to reams of medical journals, new studies, and clinical records. Using Watson’s quick computerized brain, it has the potential to unlocking new resources and making greater strides toward patients’ health.

Personally, I feel a lot more optimistic about being probed by a machine with categorical results than a human with quantified risks. But for now, we must learn to share the existence of both human and robot capabilities, because at the end of the day, we are only human -humans make mistakes and robots are still trying to figure out life.