Six Questions to John Nosta

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Are we wasting health data? Is AI humanity’s greatest invention? Are physicians obsolete? What does health innovation mean for you? Will AI replace doctors? Could you tell us more about your new book? Watch an interview with John Nosta (NOSTALAB).

How will Artificial Intelligence change medicine?

John Nosta: Looming over this concept is something that is more basic and fundamental. For me, the question is less about the impact of AI on medicine and more about how AI will change something more fundamental: humanity. It’s this recalibration of the human experience that will begin to set the stage for AI’s role in many aspects of our lives. So, it might be true that technology-based transformation in medicine will be a laggard in the context of other areas or industries. Yes, we’ll see driverless cars well before we see the AI-empowered physician robot. However, the transition of AI from a helpful option to a clinical imperative has already begun.

But here’s the interesting aspect of AI’s role in medicine. It will allow for the reinfusion of empathy into the clinical dynamic.

Soon, “what did the doctor say” will be replaced by “what did the computer say.”

The zero-sum argument of technology replacing physicians is more click bate than scholarly discussion. The core idea must be as to how AI will “co-exist” with clinicians to reinvent medicine as a unique combination of “cognitive brilliance” and “human compassion.” The winner here is the patient. Yet there’s a rub. Physicians own the cognitive domain and the potential to ceed this authoritative position to a machine is both counter-intuitive and emotionally unsettling.

In tomorrow’s world—as data overwhelms our human analytical capacity—artificial intelligence will emerge to provide the “cognitive heavy lifting” that will free up the central element that defines and differentiates us: human empathy. Soon, “what did the doctor say” will be replaced by “what did the computer say.” And the remainder of this critical construct defines the future of medicine and the future. “What did the doctor DO” perfectly expresses the physician of tomorrow, who’s skill is sharpened, and empathy is enhanced, by the power of artificial intelligence.




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