Those of us of a certain age will recall how we collectively fantasized about a Jetson-like future full of flying cars. You couldn’t blame us at the time—we were all heavily steeped in moonshots and the space race. The Americans making it to the moon was just about the most impossible thing imaginable—if we could do that, surely, we could do anything.
As you know, technology and innovation didn’t quite roll out the way we expected at the time. On one hand we saw crazy advances in computer science and the emergence of the Internet that have quite literally transformed modern society, but on the other, we still don’t have flying cars. Self-driving cars are here though…and normalizing at an unimaginable speed.
For many physicians wading through the plethora of media around artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, other digital solutions and health care, the doctor’s office of the future probably feels just as far-fetched as flying cars. The only thing is, it’s not.
The image above (thank you Social Fabric for their “Doctor’s office of the future.”) is probably in line what one might imagine a visit to see your family physician could be like someday. The truth is however, the doctor’s office of the future could be like the above or, it could consist of you at your home or temporary office space leveraging a virtual tool to connect with a patient in their home (Watch: Niels van Namen - Why the hospital of the future will be your own home). And “someday” is a lot sooner than you might think.
Owing to the rising costs associated with our aging population, tools like AI are being used to drive operational efficiencies, improve clinical diagnoses and deliver customized/personalized care to patients via smart devices.
If you currently work in a typical physician’s office with the standard issue bed; and standard issue blood pressure monitoring device; and defunct fax machine, buckle your seat belt because the future is headed your way at light speed. Just don’t be afraid.
If there is one thing I hear over and over from physicians it is the sincere wish they could practice medicine the way they imagined they would when they started medical school. What is missing for many physicians as well as patients are the haptic elements of care that only a person can provide—the healing touch, the personalized care, the human element. The good news is that the future might very well change where you practice and the tools you use, but it will also improve the way you practice…not just for patients but for your own satisfaction and sense of well-being.
These are exciting times and you are not alone. Joule is primed to be right there with you every lightspeed step of the way.
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