The Doctor is Still In

From artificial intelligence, insurance on demand and virtual reality, healthcare is changing. I recently attended a day-long Future of Health conference that suggests, as we already know, that things are changing at break neck pace. These changes, however, might not be as scary as we fear.

Let’s talk artificial intelligence. I recently heard that DARPA, the U.S. Department of Defense’s agency for advance research projects, is testing artificial psychotherapists. A simulated talking head on a television-type screen that can notice the tiniest verbal cues or body movements. The idea is that the artificial therapist can compare millions of data points with that of its patient to improve diagnosis. I’m not sure I’m ready for that.

I think the robot psychotherapist is exactly what people think of when they think of artificial intelligence. Next thing you know, a robot will be doing my back surgery. Right? The truth might be a bit more subtle. The truth might more accurately be called assisted intelligence or augmented intelligence. We’re already seeing successes.

Current examples of augmented intelligence include home glucose monitoring with results tat can be relayed directly back to your doctor, telehealth visits in locations where physicians are in short supply, and video visits that allow sick people to video chat with their doctor from home versus sitting in the emergency room with other sick people. The doctor is not eliminated. In fact, augmented intelligence gives patients and physicians what they want the most –– time to spend with their patients when they need it most. So, what does this mean for the Miller-Dwan Foundation?

Staying abreast of healthcare changes allows the Miller-Dwan Foundation to direct limited funding to new technology and future programs that will best serve patients now and into the future. The Miller-Dwan Foundation’s Innovations Fund is, in fact, designed with the future in mind. It funds new and innovative projects support state-of-the-art healthcare while assuring the continuation of the very best in compassionate care.

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