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More talking, less typing: Bringing you and your doctor closer together

By Dr. Tony Aquilina

The ‘Expert Voices’ submissions are for educational purposes only. They are written by marketing staff at Capital Blue Cross and Wellspan Health, in coordination with the experts listed. They are not connected to news coverage by WITF or Transforming Health. Information in these posts is not meant to replace professional medical advice or treatment plans. Capital Blue Cross and Wellspan Health encourage you to contact a qualified health care professional to discuss your individual health concerns.

Ever notice how hard it is to have a real conversation with someone these days? Everyone has their screens, be it cell phone, TV, or tablet. We’re all moving so fast in our ever-complicated lives that it feels like there are fewer and fewer opportunities to make a human connection anymore.

A doctor’s visit is likely one where we still expect, if not demand, someone’s undivided attention. Whether it’s for an annual physical, when you’re sick, aches or pains, doctors are there to listen, answer questions, and get you back on track.

Courtesy of WellSpan Health

Dr. Tony Aquilina, executive vice president and chief physician executive, WellSpan Health

But have you ever felt like they are spending more time typing medical notes into our patient records, than actually listening? Why does the computer get all the attention?

We know our doctors are listening to us, but the perception may seem otherwise. It’s time computers work to bring patients and doctors closer together again.

The solution may lie in voice recognition software. Think artificial intelligence, that can securely listen in and transcribe the visit, allowing the doctor to focus on the person-to-person discussion with you. The important details are being logged, but not at the expense of the conversation.

This means that physicians no longer need to spend as much time manually entering information into their patients’ electronic medical records and they can get back to doing what they truly love: caring for patients.

Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s digital assistant Siri work in similar ways. But this is more than just simplifying your life. This is about using technology like artificial intelligence to get back to basics.

More talking – less typing. We think that is the wave of the future and the best way to provide a level of care with a real human connection. It’s tapping into technology for our benefit, not our detriment.

Dr. Tony Aquilina, executive vice president and chief physician executive, WellSpan Health