A droid can’t feel your pain


So will advancing technology mean that someday you’ll see a primary care droid instead of making an appointment with a human doctor? Watching Star Wars, Jones predicts that the health care providers of the future will continue to emerge from medical and nursing schools, not from android factories. “But there will be a difference,” he says. “The students of the future will spend less time cramming their heads full of information, instead focusing on the psychology of illness. Someday soon we will realize that their most important contribution is often to empathize with patients.”

Doctors can let the new technology collect information and vital signs, while emphasizing and enhancing the empathetic and intuitive parts of medicine that will always be the domain of humans.


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“There is no doubt that technological innovations will continue to improve health care in dramatic ways,” says Jones. “But when you are sick you are also scared. And at least for the foreseeable future, there is no way that technology can substitute for a real human being, someone who feels what you are feeling.”

The Conversation

Richard Gunderman, Chancellor’s Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.