With a wave of tech savvy baby boomers getting old and a shortage of 52,000 US physicians expected in the next 10 years, companies are introducing handheld medicine based on smartphones, mobility, and cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI). A start-up called Spruce has launched a smartphone app for dermatology that asks a series of diagnostic questions and tells the patient what kinds of pictures to take. The patient can select a doctor and is promised a response within 24 hours, all for $40. Down the road, AI may take the place of doctors – IBM’s Watson technology is being used in high-end health centers now and a Watson-like app could provide a first-class diagnosis that in many cases would be at least as accurate as one supplied by a human.
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