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The Waiting Room is Your Doctor - Dilbert Blog

The Waiting Room is Your Doctor

I wonder if someday the doctor’s waiting room will be a giant MRI device, or whatever technology replaces it, that can scan you, diagnose your problems, and write prescriptions without human intervention.

Imagine that someday you have a tiny chip inside you to monitor your blood chemistry on an ongoing basis. When you enter the room, the computer recognizes your face, and matches it to the identity information on your chip just to be sure. The computer reads your blood data from your chip and begins scanning your body. You don’t have to be motionless because the computer is fast enough to compensate for your movements.

The computer has your entire medical history, along with the genetic information that was taken from your umbilical cord. It also knows your lifestyle because your bank records and your location data (from GPS) are available by law to the medical establishment. The computer can even scan your Facebook pages and other online sources to see what social situations you’ve been in lately. By then, privacy will seem like a quaint custom from our primitive past. Children will learn about it in history class.

The computer then compares all of your information with a vast database about other human beings and looks for anomalies. Based on this information, the computer diagnosis you and prescribes treatment. At that point, a human nurse might be involved to remove a splinter or apply a bandage. If you need surgery, a robot does the hard part while a human doctor supervises.

In the next stage of healthcare, the MRI-like device shrinks to the size of an airport screening device that fits in the doorway of your home so you get a full and instant physical every time you pass through. Every problem is diagnosed early.

What part of that future is unlikely in 200 years?