Will a Medical Avatar or Assistant Be More Effective for Physicians than Nurses?

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It is if the Avatar is immensely capable at its job and immensely inexpensive, and by the way, remember the Avatar never sleeps. The Avatar is looking at all the patients files 24/7. Looking for hits, and links, and possible meaning in the pattern of symptoms, the genotypes, the phenotypes that are being collected 24/7 helping you the doctor to know your patients much better than otherwise you would.

And it's doing it very inexpensively. Think about the Avatar is like the ATM, we don't employ tellers on every street corner, 24/7. To do so, it would be immensely expensive, but we have these machines called the ATMs that everybody uses. In fact, people would probably rather use the ATM now than go see a teller.

So I think it makes sense. Now the question is, how do we get to the Avatar? And we are thinking about this. So it turns out there's great people at UCSD who build Avatars, that's their whole thing. They are in cognitive science. And I've just spoken with one of them. She's a fantastic young woman, and we thought about the following, we thought about, how about we, because we're very interested in empathy,

we're very interested in the brain basis of empathy, how about we do an experiment with medical students, where we characterize the body language, the words that are used, the inflections of the voice that doctors use, that are empathetic, or that are judged by having a lot of empathy for their patients by themselves, but also by their patients, and also by naive observers.

So we might have medical students do meditation class that teaches, that creates the ability for empathy. We might watch them and interacting with actra patients and we collect if you will, we would abstract those features of the behavior that build real value with the patient, the listening business, the responding business.

So imagine we can create this Avatar, we'd equip it with its ability to collect the history, and then we give it a world of information to deal with. So when he goes to talk to the doctor, it's a very well informed about the patient, and the patient in the context of all the other patients in the world.

I can spend a whole half hour only just listening to the patient. I've collected all that information, I've even analysed in my Avatar. Joe has even analyzed it for me. My job as a human being is to go in and see if you all got it right, and see if I have any other intuitions, and to do a brief examination that helps me confirm some of my thinking.