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Science, Maths & Technology
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Evan Davis on... improving IT

Updated Saturday 21st March 2009

IT is changing the way we live our lives - and, says The Bottom Line presenter Evan Davis, the doctor's surgery is just one place it's happening.

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Copyright The Open University

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Evan Davis: We know, or often talk about, how information technology is changing industry after industry, re-engineering the way we do things. A very interesting example is medical practice.

Now you might have thought - and indeed many do think - that it's all about a doctor and the relationship with a patient, and the doctor, being intimate with the patient, will know what the patient needs and what needs to be prescribed and all of that. Data can play a very big part in that, though - if the IT is right. The data can tell the doctor what the warning signs are, which category the patient is in, whether the patient should be prescribed one kind of drug treatment or a different kind of drug treatment, and the data can be constantly updating, as it learns, as it goes, which category the patient is in and what works for different patients.

Now it's not to say that it's all about data and that you want to get rid of the doctor and you just leave it to the algorithm and the computer. But it's just a wonderful example of the way in which the new technology can complement the way we used to do things and give a result that is considerably better than it used to be.

 

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