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Techies' and doctors' differences could hurt patients

Medical Pharmaceutical Translations • Dec 30, 2019 12:00:00 AM

What happens when medicine and technology come together? “Effective, innovative results for patients” should be the answer, but it isn’t always.

Part of the problem, a fascinating NBC News report reveals, is that techies and doctors just don’t approach issues the same way.

For busy techies, time is money and progress is key, whereas doctors and medical researchers want to fully understand a health condition and potential cures or treatments before making those available to the public. The result can often be a major conflict of interest, or even a dangerous cutting of corners.

The report mentions several medical tech companies who’ve had catastrophic failures, including Theranos. In cases like these, the idealism of the company’s technology-oriented leaders just couldn’t match with reality and the process of medically testing, analyzing, and ruling out.

Even in still-successful medical technology companies, there are often some interesting communication barriers, including tech vs. everyday or medical jargon; people on the medical side writing long papers that have to be condensed in order for the technology side to have time to read and learn the essentials; and pressure on medical personnel to deliver results, despite possible misgivings.

Some of these issues sound like the stuff of a wacky comedy – “Silicon Valley: The Odd Couple Edition.” Others, like medical personnel forcing themselves to overcome their better judgment, are a lot less funny.

Read on to learn more about the headbutting between techies and the medical researchers and doctors who work for them.

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