“You can’t list your iPhone as your primary-care physician.”
This cartoon and more importantly the phrase below it has been going around a bunch on social media lately. I’m sure it makes the majority of doctors roll their eyes and get a little bit angry. Their immediate response is likely “Are you trying to say that my 15 years of school can be replaced by a smart phone?”
I think this question misses the point of the humor. Remember that it’s a cartoon and so it’s meant to be exaggerated. Let me clear the air though. I don’t think any smart phone or even technology is going to completely replace the human element of healthcare. I’m even someone that believes that love and affection can be shared using technology (I’ve seen it and experienced it), but technology can’t replace the human interaction completely. I’ve yet to see a gall bladder removed using a smart phone.
Yes, we’ll need doctors. However, that doesn’t hide the point of the cartoon, which is to highlight the ever increasing influence that our mobile phone will have over our healthcare. You can hide your head in the sand and act like it’s not happening if you want, but that doesn’t change the reality of how the smart phone is going to change healthcare as we know it. In many ways, it already is.