The introduction of so much new digital medical information is transforming the decision-making process in the healthcare ecosystem. Patients often seek out information before they speak to a doctor, and clinicians are using computers to help with diagnosis or with the selection of treatment options. In short, what used to be an intimate doctor-patient twosome has now become a threesome: the doctor-patient-computer triangle. But do all three entities in this new relationship have an equal say in what decisions are made?
IBM Research – Haifa hosted a healthcare colloquium in honor of IBM's centennial, convening thought leaders from the healthcare community to discuss this new transformation and its implications for the future.
Perspective on the past and vision for the future
IBM researchers in Israel pioneered some of the first IBM projects in the areas of information-based medicine, standards for medical data, interoperability for medical imaging, and clinical genomic analytics. Today, the lab specializes in research related to the integration of vast amounts of medical information and gaining insight from this data by enabling access and sharing.
The researchers have developed an online system that provides clinicians with a prediction of which drug or drug cocktail will be the best for treating a given patient infected with a specific HIV virus. In another project, they created a secure web-based system that allows public health institutions and centers for disease control to electronically share public health data—even across geographical and political borders in the Middle East.
Another project reinvents the patient portal, enabling patients to integrate and manage their healthcare data for all medical needs, receive personalized recommendations or alerts for safer medical treatment, and immediately access data from a vast range of sources.
Yet even with the support of the most sophisticated technology, noted Prof. Jonathan Halevy, of the Shaaeri Zedek Medical Center, the foundation of the doctor-patient relationship remains unchanged. "There is still no substitute for face-to-face encounters between physicians and their patients. The doctor will never be optional."
Watch all of the event's presentations
Keynote Address Dan Pelino, General Manager of Healthcare and Life Sciences, IBM
The Doctor-Patient Relationship in the Internet Era Prof. Jonathan Halevy, Director General of Shaare Zedek Medical Center