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A recent post in DailyDealMedia caught my attention. It was titled "Uprising in Mobile Health Care: Could Medical Apps Replace Doctors?" The theme of technology vs. the humanistic aspects of medicine has been the subject of debate for many decades, obviously predating the advent of medical apps.
I find it interesting that the introduction of the referenced PwC study highlights the fact that "Solutions, not technology, are the key to success." Another piece on this subject in The Atlantic addressed what I believe is the core issue: "Should (most) doctors become obsolete – or less provocatively, does the practice of medicine need to change? Here, the answer must be yes."
I will give my own reasons why I think the question of apps replacing doctors is neither feasible nor desired.
Skepticism about new technology is expected and healthy. It should not be blindly defended by its developers or investors. It requires proof of effectiveness, safety, convenience, cost-efficiency, acceptance and adoption by both providers and patients in order to expect its adoption. The DDM article is a bit sensationalized, perhaps by design. It inspires reflection. I hope this post does the same.
David Lee Scher is a former cardiac electrophysiologist and is an independent consultant and owner/director at DLS Healthcare Consulting, LLC, (www.digitalhealthconsultants.com) concentrating in advising digital health companies and their partnering institutions, providers and businesses. A pioneer adopter of remote cardiac monitoring, he lectures worldwide promoting the benefits of digital health technologies. Twitter: @dlschermd, He also blogs at http://davidleescher.com. He was cited as one of the 10 cardiologists to follow on Twitter and one of the top ten blogs on healthcare technology.
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