Can computers replace surgeons?


4 out of 10 developments in healthcare revolve around automating systems, with fundamentals flagged to robotics. Every aspect from diagnosing to surgeries has seen a great amount of inclination towards robotics. All these are routed to one greater reason, which is improvising healthcare and making its technologies more precise, quick and economical.

Human errors can be reduced significantly by protocol adherence however there (Human = Surgeons and Physicians) availability on the account of increased patient head counts remain daunting issue for HCP (Health Care Personnel).

Making an effort to address this challenge is IBM which has begun training Watson computer to read CT & other images. While surgery and diagnosing areas of healthcare witnessed development from the likes of Intuitive Surgical and Scanadu, image interpretation was first of its kind development in healthcare.

The development quest begun just after IBM had acquired company Merge, a healthcare player having a right material (30 Billion Medical Images) for streamlining venture’s vision for healthcare. Merge Health houses close to 30 billion medical images which can act as potential feedstock for designing this image reading computer. According to claims the device could read CT images, MRI scans , ECGs and other image types for patient health interpretation.

According to industry news features the fundamentals of this development will include making computer scan through various image samples from subjects (patients and healthy people) and help structure an algorithm that differentiates the image with abnormalities .Though various surgeons from around the globe had a mixed opinion on this quest, majority of them are inclined in saying that this innovation is very unlikely to replace doctors and is just going to help them become better surgeons. The statement was made on the grounds of technology tip that happened years back, a trend carrying similar air and claims around it. Development in reference is transition from film to digital, an activity that contributed to their roles betterment in healthcare ecosystem.

Image reading computer development’s thought and materialization started because of the increasing need of patients for a better and quicker screening solution. While the hospital houses only certain head count of care takers, world was in dire need of a system that can predict nature of issue by looking at scan results (Images and Graphs). If the problem was trivial and does not need surgeon’s intervention, it saves cost; else it helps take the issue reach surgeons attention quickly.

Debate on, if it is going to replace surgeons or not is secondary , what is important here is non-core companies are developing healthcare through their expertise skill sets and are not hesitant to shell out cash either for technology licensing , partnership or in this case an acquisition. While the healthcare’s future always seems to be blurred on account of growing ailments, developments like this provide little clarity to the image, and for sure come out as an assuring one.

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