All things digital are in.

You may have noticed that yourself. Insert a #IoT hashtag into your tweet, and BOOM! 5-10 semi-automatic retweets within minutes, guaranteed! No real need for your tweet to actually make much sense. That niche is crowded right now, and everybody’s fighting for scraps of attention.

(For those blessfully unaware, IoT stands for Internet of Things – a buzzword hotter than hot in the blagosphere right now. Basically it means slapping an internet connection on everything from dildos to refrigerators because reasons, hype and elevator bi..pitches. Check this account for why I’m not a particularly huge fan.)

The same goes for anything else that goes buzz in the night – augmented reality, virtual reality, blockchains, you name it.

It’s exactly like 3D printing was a year ago. Going to change everything. Ya right.

So, digitalization is big. And, being the loudmouthed, occasionally obnoxious bastard that I am, I just have to give my two cents about it.


So let’s be done with it.

I have an idea.

An actually useful idea, I’d wager.

Not like making a mattress that notifies your phone whenever someone’s sleeping on it (yes, that’s a thing), or trying cater to people’s ever-shortening attention spans with the next big mobile chat PROGRAM (because that’s what adults were calling them before some turtlenecked fucktard decided it was too long and difficult a word for their precious little snowflake customers) or a game. Or writing a poop-tracker for the quantified-self…misguided-ones.

Couldn't find a picture buzz enough, so here's a Dickbutt. Taken from the internet.
Couldn’t find a picture buzz enough, so here’s a Dickbutt. Taken from the internet.

Okay, to the point.


Let’s think about doctors. What do doctors do when they recieve a normal run-of-the mill runny-nose-sore-throat patient? They perform some diagnostics.

Based on my observation, that part of their job is basically a combination of that of a psychologist, and that of a classification program. They try to extract a set of symptoms from the patient, and then match that set of symptoms to a particular disease or malady.

Now, humans can be pretty good at the former task.  But the latter?

Come on! That sounds like a job for a machine if any.

Hence, here’s my idea about how going to the doctor should actually happen, to make the most of everyone’s precious time:

1. You walk in through the hospital’s or health center’s door. You take a tablet computer from a decontamination chamber in which it’s been being blasted with gamma rays more energetic than the Tsar Bomba. Don’t wanna get any additional bugs, you know.

The machine asks you stuff like does it hurt, and okay where does it hurt then. Or maybe the first thing you do is point at the body part of the androgynous (because otherwise somebody’s gonna have a female canine fit) figure shown on the screen, indicating the area that’s causing you problems. Yeah, that would work. Swipe the entire shit if you feel like dying, or have actually been run over by a bulldozer and everything actually is broken.

2. The program inside starts to form an initial diagnosis, like a headache being caused by either a common cold or a neck muscle spasm 90 % of the time. Based on that, it asks you some clarifying questions about the type of headache and stuff. Maybe it also prompts you with some additional questions and extra symptoms, to make sure you are not forgetting other probable symptoms or actually dying.

And yeah, it will definitely throw around one or two bogus questions with make-up symptoms to make sure you’re not a hypochondriac lying through your teeth.

3. By now, the software has a list of your symptoms, and your impression of their severity. From those, it can easily come up with a list of probable causes, based on their matching level with your symptoms and their population- and time-level prevalence both.

4. From now on, there are several options. Ideally, the software should be given the authority to send you home, or write you a prescription for some medicine, or possible further you to some blood tests. In other words, do everything a software can do, only sending you on to an actual human doctor if absolutely required.

But, I doubt we the humans are ready for that. At the very least, the diagnosis program would have to be proven to be as reliable as a human doctor – probably more.

So, the realistic scenario: it sends you on to an actual doctor with a list of your symptoms, a probable diagnosis and the recommended course of treatment. The doctor-person checks that you agree with the list and there’s nothing really obvious missing (like a missing limb), and that the diagnosis and treatment make sense.

Off you go. 3 minutes of the doctor’s time spent.


Actually, steps 1 to 3 could just as well be done online, from the comfort of your home.

But even with the described approach, doctors could spend more of their time on treating urgent patients and making rounds at the ward, rather than playing the question game with the boring majority of their patients.

You the patient would probably save some time too, with fewer minutes spent in the waiting room, well, waiting to tell what bothers you.


Now, I have absolutely no idea if anybody has actually already done this, is currently doing this, or is planning to do something like this. I certainly hope so – I mean the idea should be painfully obvious to anybody with any experience in, well, life.

Not really rocket science.

So please, get on with it! I’ll accept 20% equity as a compensation for using my idea.

-Antti


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How to Digitalize Healthcare

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