Maclean’s cover story last week was about how new technologies, such as smartphone apps, are allowing people to monitor their own health and diagnose themselves with illnesses. My reaction to the article was mixed. I’ve always valued how technology is advancing medical science and patient care. I’ve seen how the Optomap empowers optometrists in caring for their patients and my ReCare ™ approach to patient retention and database growth is predicated on using database software to its maximum.
I worry, however, that perspectives like the one in this Maclean’s article, overlook the influence that trained individuals have in providing quality health care. One reason these individuals are so important is that, as the article says, “the diagnosis is only as good as the app or device you’re using.” Another reason is that most patients want to have a partner in addressing their medical needs. A doctor serves as this partner and a recaller fosters the relationship between the clinic and its patients. In my opinion, these human contributions are irreplaceable and priceless!