Is Technology Really Going to Replace Doctors?

Or more importantly, can it?

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The world has stepped into the modern era, the era of technology. No doubt, the profession of medicine is the most respectable of all and the people affiliated with this profession are the busiest of the society, who slave away from dawn to dusk in the service of humanity. For years, scientists and researchers have tried to find out ways and means to lower the burden of doctors. Although machines including diagnostic ones like MRI scanner, X-Ray, ultrasound machines, and dialysis machines among many others, have revolutionized the medical field, yet they have not contributed toward lessening the labour of doctors much. These machines help only in quick diagnosis and assist only a few surgical procedures.

Aiming to assist doctors, engineers have designed assistant medical robots that help in surgical procedures. Ironically, these robot-doctors are controlled by doctors. And this has not helped much in reducing the duty of the doctors. No doubt, these robots are well designed and well equipped, yet are really costly. The idea to replace doctors with robots fails because these expensive robots need to be operated by doctors. Moreover, introduction of robotic surgery poses a great financial burden on patients and their kin because they still need to pay to doctors and other medical staff. In short, robotic surgery means paying four or five times more for one procedure as compared to the cost of manually operated procedures.

“The idea to replace doctors with robots fails because these expensive robots need to be operated by doctors.”

Perhaps, the biggest disadvantage of robots is lack of tactile sensations. Human anatomy is not fixed. It has many variations. Only a surgeon’s fingers can calculate where to cut and where to nick. It is well said, ‘A surgeon has eyes on his/her fingers.’

Tough robots have helped ‘visual penetration’ inside the body of man, they fail to replace the information provided by tactile sensations. Simply put, robots have unexpectedly increased the rate of intra-operative complications. To become a surgeon, one already needs to learn a lot of skills. And the introduction of robots is an extra drain as surgeons need to learn to operate robots, more advanced hand-eye coordination, some engineering and programming skills and to devise ways to decrease intra-operative complications.

All these things are extra burden on doctors and demand a lot of time and expertise. There are two main divisions of medical sciences: medicine and surgery. The main load of patients is on medicine and this robotic technology has not done any good for physicians.

In a nutshell, no matter how fast technology progresses, it cannot take man’s place. Man is the real and only power of the world. All these inventions and robots are merely his assistants.

“Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.” -John F. Kennedy

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