Is the Doctor/Patient Relationship Changing with Healthcare Technology Advances?

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And certainly for the work that I'm interested in, the issues we're interested in, empowering the community in rural Africa or rural Asia for demanding better services, giving them that opportunity, I think is tremendously powerful. So they are going to demand more of our providers, more of the governments and so I think that's a really powerful tool.

I think the irony though is that it's not sufficient, technology is not going to be sufficient to make people be professionals, or to take good care of their patients. I was telling somebody recently in my own experience I use technology all the time to teach students all over the world, but what I want to teach how to care for a patient at the bed side, I have my no screen rule.

So when we go into a patient's room with the students and the residents I tell them all screens get turned off it's eyes on the patient, hands on the patient. We don't want to have technology interfere with that trust. So I do have some concerns about what impact a smartphone or a cellphone would have in a community, in the hands of a community health worker when he or she is going into a home with a patient how we're careful about how we integrate that technology and not break down the trust that needs to be in place between patient and provider.

And we've become so, it's certainly in the west, we've become so technically dependent that is breaking down the communication strategy. If you're going to be a good healthcare provider it's not just about what you know, it's what you do and how you interact with your patient, and how he or she interacts with you and that, we need to be thinking about that.

Ironically enough I think some of the lessons we might learn from how this rolls out in Africa is going to be applicable here.