Anything you can do, I can do better.

A stethoscope (Image by Gyna Liard from Pixabay)

Anything you can do, I can do better.
I can do anything better than you.

The doctor will Zoom you now… is telemedicine the future of GP care?
(The Telegraph 24 May 2020)

In the UK, General Practitioners (GPs) are busy consigning themselves to the dustbin of history. With the coronavirus making it necessary to avoid physical visits to the doctor, GPs are using Zoom to diagnose and advise their patients. It seems that the patient’s description of their symptoms, together with blood tests and X-rays and other tests, none of which are carried out by the GP, are sufficient to treat most patients. The old days of a prod here and a tap there are over, it’s ‘hands off’ rather than ‘hands on’.

But, waiting patiently in the background, is a bigger doctor, a better doctor, a more knowledgeable doctor – a computer doctor. Yes, a computer equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI), and with access to the Internet, has all of human knowledge at its non-existent fingertips; everything the GP knows, the computer knows better.

The Compudoc, as we will call it, can “look” at your blood tests, scan your X-ray, “read” your electrocardiogram (ECG) and “listen” to your complaints. It can then analyse the information, using a huge database of all mankind’s ills, to come up with a diagnosis and the latest, most appropriate, treatment.

That ubiquitous symbol of doctors, the stethoscope, has had its day. It can be hung up forever. Interestingly enough, in these days of the “Me Too” protests against sexual harassment, it was invented in France in 1816 by a doctor who was not comfortable placing his ear directly on a woman’s chest to listen to her heart.

We have not yet reached the stage where robot surgeons routinely perform operations, although many predict that this will come by 2035. A computer-controlled robot has already successfully performed intestinal surgery on a pig. The pig is genetically very similar to us humans. Although, looking at a pig or a human, the difference is obvious, from the biological point of view we are not that much different.

Health warning, you may not want to know this. Mistakes by health care professionals lead to more than 200,000 deaths in the United States each year. When did Microsoft’s Windows ever let you down?

Anything you can do, I can do better.
(By Irving Berlin for Annie Get Your Gun)

About the Author
The author has been living in Rehovot since making Aliya in 1970. A retired physicist, he divides his time between writing adventure novels, getting his sometimes unorthodox views on the world into print, and working in his garden. An enthusiastic skier and world traveller, the author has visited many countries. His first novels "Snow Job - a Len Palmer Mystery" and "Not My Job – a Second Len Palmer Mystery" are published for Amazon Kindle. The author is currently working on the third Len Palmer Mystery - "Do Your Job".