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¿La atención médica se verá alterada?

LEXINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS – Si bien las máquinas inteligentes cada vez más operan sistemas industriales complejos y reemplazan a los seres humanos en las fábricas, no han hecho progresos significativos en el área de la atención médica. Las máquinas más avanzadas del sector, desde los instrumentos de imágenes de ultra alta resolución hasta los robots quirúrgicos, todavía siguen estando plenamente controladas por los seres humanos.

Pero a medida que los sistemas robóticos y de inteligencia artificial (IA) se vuelvan más avanzados, ¿llegará el momento en que los médicos y los enfermeros se tornen obsoletos y los pacientes consulten, en cambio, a una computadora? La respuesta concisa es: no en lo inmediato. Los profesionales de la salud efectivamente dependerán cada vez más de las máquinas; pero la tecnología aumentará, no reemplazará, sus capacidades, y los médicos seguirán a cargo de las prácticas médicas.

En su libro de 2009 La prescripción del innovador, Clayton Christensen de Harvard Business School identificó un espectro de prácticas médicas que oscilan entre la "intuición" y la "precisión". La medicina intuitiva se refiere a cuando un médico interpreta los síntomas de un paciente para llegar a un diagnóstico y prescribir un tratamiento, cuya eficacia suele ser incierta. La medicina de precisión -que no debería confundirse con la medicina personalizada- describe un proceso basado en reglas según las cuales se aplican tratamientos estandarizados con resultados predecibles para afecciones médicas conocidas.

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