Telemedicine and at home testing, both spurned by the coronavirus, might come to dominate the medical landscape in the year ahead. We’ve already witnessed these in the past year but with a new highly infectious variant of the virus running rampant around the world we might be forced at times to receive our medical care physically distanced from our doctors in the year ahead. Fit bits, smart phones and the growth of health Apps, have already provided us with a sizeable inventory for self reflection. Genetic testing has been with us for a while and there are so many other investigations, like a stool test which examines the myriad microbes existing in our gut, that we can utilise to reveal what is making us dysfunctional.
Artificial intelligence has been found to be comparable if not superior to dermatologists for identifying skin cancers and to radiologists for interpreting scans. Computer technology made it inevitable that we’d have access to the medical smarts that will enable us to self-diagnose and self-medicate. Is the distancing of telemedicine merely a prelude for the day when doctors will become entirely redundant?