As telemedicine replaces the physical exam, what are doctors missing?

Video call with doctor

Virtual medical appointments are more common since the coronavirus pandemic began. But without physical exams, doctors may miss certain diagnoses and miss out on building relationships with patients.

Despite a foothold in medicine that predates Hippocrates himself, the traditional physical exam might be on the verge of extinction. The coronavirus crisis has driven more routine medical appointments online, accelerating a trend toward telemedicine that has already been underway.

This worries Dr. Paul Hyman, author of a recently published essay in JAMA Internal Medicine, who reflects on what’s lost when physicians see their patients almost exclusively through a screen.

A primary care physician in Maine, Hyman acknowledges he’d already begun second-guessing routine physicals on healthy patients as insurance requirements pushed doctors away from them.

But while Hyman is now providing mostly telemedicine, like many doctors during the pandemic, he writes that he has gained a clearer sense of the value of the age-old practice of examining patients in person. He notes the ability to offer reassurance, be present for his patients and find personal fulfillment as a doctor.

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AI-Human “hive mind ” diagnoses pneumonia

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First, it correctly predicted the top four finishers at the Kentucky Derby. Then, it was better at picking Academy Award winners than professional movie critics—three years in a row. The cherry on top was when it prophesied that the Chicago Cubs would end a 108-year dry spell by winning the 2016 World Series—four months before the Cubs were even in the playoffs. (They did.)

Now, this AI-powered predictive technology is turning its attention to an area where it could do some real good—diagnosing medical conditions.

In a study presented on Monday at the SIIM Conference on Machine Intelligence in Medical Imaging in San Francisco, Stanford University doctors showed that eight radiologists interacting through Unanimous AI’s “swarm intelligence” technology were better at diagnosing pneumonia from chest X-rays than individual doctors or a machine-learning program alone.

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Three out of four terminal cancer patients believe a cure is possible

A large majority of patients who receive this news don’t fully comprehend it, or perhaps willfully choose to ignore it.

Often times doctors are called on to deliver bad news to patients.  And when they deliver that news it doesn’t get much worse than hearing a diagnosis of an advanced-stage cancer for which there is no cure.

 

 

 

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Five Minute Questionnaire is Accurate Enough to Diagnose Autism in 1 Year Old Children

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Parents are asked about a child’s eye-gaze and other forms of age-appropriate communication.

Parents can fill out a five-minute questionnaire that is accurate enough to diagnose autism in children as young as one in three-quarters of the cases, claims study.

 

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Doctors Face a Moral Dilemma with Early Alzheimer’s Detection – Should Patients Be Told?

early diagnosis

Early diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s lead to a moral dilemma

Marjie Popkin thought she had chemo brain, that fuzzy-headed forgetful state that she figured was a result of her treatment for ovarian cancer. She was not thinking clearly — having trouble with numbers, forgetting things she had just heard.

 

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How Nanotechnology May Be Damaging Our Lungs

How Nanotechnology May Be Damaging Our Lungs

 Nanomaterials may cause damage to the lungs

In 2006, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars published a warning and a challenge to the scientific community about its responsible use and handling of nanomaterials, as they were known to cause damage to the lungs.  Now, research conducted at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, has unveiled how the damage occurs and a possible means of control. 

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Key To Early Cancer Diagnosis Discovered By Bioengineering Student

Key To Early Cancer Diagnosis Discovered By Bioengineering Student

Raj Krishnan, a PhD student in bioengineering at the University of California San Diego (UCSD)

Cancers that are detected early have the best chance of being cured but, until now, there were no methods of detecting cancer at its earliest stages.  Raj Krishnan, a PhD student in bioengineering at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), has created a technology for the early diagnosis of cancer, giving new hope and possibility to cures that have eluded cancer victims for years because their diagnoses were too late.

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New Method Of Analyzing Brain Signals Could Help Stroke Patients

New Method Of Analyzing Brain Signals Could Help Stroke Patients 

This image shows brain activity in a stroke patient before (left) and after (right) two weeks of rehabilitative therapy.

New ways to analyze the brain’s electrical activity might soon help physicians diagnose brain disorders and assess the benefits of treatment. ElMindA, a startup based in Israel, is developing one such system, which it hopes will help doctors diagnose attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) more objectively and speed up treatment decisions for stroke patients. The company is partnering with pharmaceutical and medical-device companies and expects to have a product ready for clinical use in 18 months.

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New Hope For Early Diagnosis And Treatment Of Alzheimer’s

New Hope For Early Diagnosis And Treatment Of Alzheimer’s

New discovery could lead to early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

A discovery made by researchers at McGill University and the affiliated Lady Davis Research Institute for Medical Research at Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital offers new hope for the early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

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