Doctors see an over reliance on technology

16/10/2017 17:22


In a recent survey, almost 70% of doctors out of 100 asked stated there was a clear over-reliance on technology. Which they felt only alienated them from their patients- as well as claiming that health apps which supposedly measure heart rate, hours of sleep and so on cannot give accurate measurements.

Though, we cannot dispute the tremendous movements technology has conquered. A recent example can be found in the case of a San Francisco endurance runner. He had a history of heart problems, so when he wasn't feeling his best, he took his data tracking watch to his cardiologist. Dr Michael Blum analysed the runner’s heart rate recordings. Blum was able to see when his patient was pushing to climb a hill or to increase his workout, and when he went for periods of rest. 'I could tell how hard he was working,' stated Blum, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco. 'I had this amazing data.'   

Technology also gives the opportunity for doctors to view inside organs like the heart, brain and bowels. Dr Jessica Mega, leader of Google Life healthcare outlines that technology can even contribute to the diagnosis of complicated conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy- the prominent cause of blindness.

Despite the many benefits technology can bring to the world of healthcare, 69% of doctors still argued that the more we come to rely on technology as one sole service, the more they become divided from their patients.

A leading issue that doctors pointed out is the fact that there are multiple apps out there which cannot do what the claim they can, such as correctly tracking blood pressure. However, the biggest problem for doctors, particularly in the US resulting from technology is the electronic health record. Which many doctors identify as the bane of their existence.

The US government have pushed electronic records for billing. Hoping it would act as a way of revolutionising healthcare, and went as far as to use financial bribes by way of acceptance for their new scheme. The hope was that the widespread use of EHR’s would reduce human error, as well as medical inefficiencies and inadequate care.  

According to Dr Eric Topol, editor-in-chief of Medscape and the panel moderator, the effort has thus far been unsuccessful. 12 million diagnosis mistakes are still made by American doctors every year whilst healthcare costs continue to climb. Doctors have named the electronic health records ‘a complete mess’.


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