A Doctor Explains How Artificial Intelligence Could Improve The Patient-Doctor Bond

His newest book is called Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again (out now from Basic Books). Topol argues that humans will always crave the bond of being cared for by other humans and that AI can help enhance that bond and bring it back — if doctors are willing to stand up to business interests.

The Verge spoke to Topol about how health care works today, health privacy concerns in the age of AI, and the importance of physician activism.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

Before we talk about how AI will affect health care and the patient-doctor relationship, can you tell me what that relationship looks like right now?

Photo courtesy of Eric Topol

The relationship has deteriorated. It’s actually dreadful. The patient is short-changed because you get so little time with your doctor and also don’t even get eye contact out of that little bit of time. And it’s not just time. It’s the distraction of doctors serving as data clerks. You’re not going to be a good listener in that case. Doctors are terribly disenchanted and disillusioned and burned out and depresse. READ MORE ON: THE VERGE

CultureYusra Hamid