With the launch of cloud computing, voice assistants like Amazon’s Echo and Alexa are coming to hospitals. Imagine a person who is having a cold but is not confident about it. Rather, than consulting a doctor due to hampered healthcare, he consults Amazon Alexa. It will generalise the symptoms with other patients and give a general diagnosis. This causes a deficit of primary care physicians due to corporisation of healthcare and shift to the technology.
Timothy Hoff, a professor of Management, Healthcare System, and Health Policy at Northeastern University says, “What we are seeing now is the tug-of-war between a physician-centric healthcare model and a corporate healthcare model.”
To boost insight into the doctor-patient relationship, Timothy Hoff interviewed 40 patients and 40 doctors. He observed that patients were frustrated due to delayed healthcare by doctors and felt rushed when they eventually got in-person appointments.
The best association, he observed, were those who were already known to each other. This is quite different because usually, patients decreased their expectations of doctor’s visit who felt betrayed. As a result, they preferred in-person interaction.
Timothy Hoff says, “These were person-to-person experiences. They weren’t transactional. It was doctors who knew their patients and patients who knew their doctors.”
Many retail companies also commenced to buy up health insurance companies and funnel those patients into their system.
Timothy Hoff says, “Then you have Apple, Amazon, Google, and Walmart -those brands that have clout-using technology to automate healthcare, looking for ways to use Artificial Intelligence to replace professionals.”
These shifts in healthcare give easy access and lower cost barriers but it’s arduous for patients to determine when a symptom is relatively benign and when it requires more progressive in-person medical care. This brings competition between the brands and they advertise treatments or services when it’s not necessary.