Pharma Hot Topics Blog

Physicians Will Soon Be Largely Replaced By Technology

Physicians have been a key target for Pharmaceutical companies since Pharmaceutical marketing began. However, new advances utilizing Artificial Intelligence show that the future of medicine is transforming dramatically now, and doctors are largely being written out of the equation. At least 80% of the work that is currently being done by Physicians will be replaced by technology in the near future.

Diagnosis approaches today

Diagnosis is a large part of the Physician’s current role. The patient history and symptoms are considered, diagnostic tests are conducted - including blood tests, tissue samples, scans, etc. The results of these eventually make their way back to the doctor who then draws upon his knowledge and the latest literature updates to make a diagnosis.

However, with the enormous number of conditions sharing symptoms, and the lack of definitive diagnosis with many of the types of routine tests being done, patients are often being misdiagnosed and even dying as a result. A study in the US found that 40,500 patients in ICU die each year due to misdiagnosis. This is actually equivalent to the number of patients who die from Breast Cancer each year.

With a knowledge of how many conditions exist, how almost 8,000 of these are ultra rare diseases that most Physicians have never seen, and that the state of medical knowledge is exploding constantly, it would be an impossible task for Physicians to stay on top of everything happening in their fields (depending on the fields, but certainly in the case of Oncology).

Physicians are meant to consume trillions of data points and make decisions to positively impact the patients’ outcomes. It is physically impossible for a human to do this in today’s world of medicine 

Diagnosis approaches tomorrow

One interesting device for diagnosis is the tricorder. This may sound familiar to some as it was the device in Star Trek that was moved over the patient’s body which analyzed everything – all readings for all body systems.

The old science fiction is now a reality, with clinical trials for the latest finalists for this device already underway. At the moment, these are early prototypes which diagnose 13 conditions and they’re involved in a competition for a healthy $10 million prize. The results will be announced soon. No doubt, the device once launched will be improved regularly, more conditions will be added and it will become more valuable and cheaper as years go by.

Artificial Intelligence is at the core of any new technology in medicine. It is the only way trillions of data points can be analyzed within a second, and a data-driven answer created with all the current knowledge, patient outcomes and individual personalized patient diagnoses.

Eularis have been working on a project involving an Artificial Intelligence driven clinical expert system to review all relevant medical literature in a specialist area, collate it, analyze it with AI, match it with local country and hospital treatment protocols, link this to all electronic patient records to examine scan images, all blood and diagnostic test results (including genetic testing), along with treatment and outcomes, and then collate all that constantly updated information, to allow the Artificial Intelligence to identify what treatment will have the best possible outcome for a specific condition, for a specific patient and their unique profile of attributes. Eularis are doing this in Oncology currently, but expect this will be made available in other therapy areas in the future.

Conclusions

The future of medicine is changing as we speak, and although the new technologies will allow Physicians to be better at their jobs, and patients to have better outcomes, it will also mean significant changes to all aspects of the Healthcare system – hospital business models, Physician practice business models and, importantly to us, Pharmaceutical business models.

Although, to many, these things might sound like Science Fiction, cast your mind back to the 70’s when Bill Gates said that 640K was the maximum space anyone could ever conceivably need. Now, we have more than that in our phones…and the thought of that little is inconceivable.

Technology advances change everything, and the approaches made by Pharmaceutical companies must be forward-thinking and take all of this into account, or they will be taken over by Google or Apple, or just go the way of the Dodo.

For more information on these topics and how you can get involved in the next generation of medicine, contact Eularis at http://www.eularis.com.

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