Corporate giant wants to replace your doctor with a robot

He strolls into the examination room barely grunting a hello… flips through your chart without making eye contact… and lately it feels like he has all the personality and bedside manner of a coffeemaker.

If you feel like mainstream doctors’ appointments today couldn’t be less personal… or more robotic… just wait until you hear what the corporate giant IBM has in store for you.

IBM is now pushing forward with all its corporate clout to get its artificial intelligence computer Watson approved to diagnose diseases.

If IBM has its way, Watson is going to be deployed to hospitals, clinics and doctors’ surgeries across the US to diagnose your heart disease, arthritis or cancer. Just don’t be surprised if it needs to install some software updates and reboot first.

Of course, IBM will tell you that doctors still have the freedom to overrule Watson. However, with doctors being increasingly threatened with court cases, I’m almost dead certain that no doctor wants to sit in front of a judge and explain why he overruled what’s supposed to be the smartest computer in the history of mankind.

So you’d better believe that when Watson gives a diagnosis your doctor is going to believe it.

Of course, it’ll be fascinating to see how drug company reps figure out a way to wine and dine Watson. Next time you see Watson, it’ll probably be covered with stickers from Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson — maybe it’ll even have a mousepad from Merck.

There’s no doubt that technology has its place in health care, and it’s brought some remarkable breakthroughs. But Watson isn’t the next great medical marvel. In fact, a robot in a white coat is just another attempt by a rich, giant corporation to de-personalize the most personal thing in your life — your health.

You deserve a doctor who can look you in the eye, listen to your concerns, and get to know how a diagnosis or a treatment plan will affect you personally. You deserve a doctor who will take the time to answer all of your questions.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Editor
Nutrition & Healing
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