The Intersection of Medicine Technology and Patient Autonomy

Samant Virk, MD


As the forces around medical care fluctuate, there remains an essential constant - the interface between the provider and patient.

To date, until some form of artificial intelligence supplants a providers ability to diagnose and appropriately convey that diagnosis based on any particular individuals circumstance, no Internet search or clinical messaging system can take the place of the specific information that comes from ones OWN medical Provider in a one-to-one interaction. One of the reasons this interaction is more important than ever is because we are living in a world with ever increasing patient autonomy. Given this autonomy, patients need an efficient, definitive source to get medical information that is specific to their condition and addresses specific questions they may have. The consistency of this interaction effects continuity, compliance and clinical outcomes. The problem is that access to that interaction (for both the provider and patient) is too cumbersome and difficult and has not been updated for generations. While alternative methods of care still have a very important place, with implementation of existing technology, we have to update this first line of health defense (patient access to their own medical providers) to more readily and efficiently respond to the needs of our patients.