Avatars to help close the doctor-patient communication gap?

An interesting concept and some interesting stats lurk under the pedestrian title of an article by Willie D Jones in the biomedical section of IEEE Spectrum’s risk analysis blog: Can Avatars Help Close the Doctor-Patient Communication Gap? The idea is that an electronic entity that can be interrogated by a patient and which has access to his or her electronic health record could act as a non-threatening intermediary between doctors and their patients…’someone’ who can be asked those stupid questions one might feel to powerless to ask the doctor in person. Heads-up thanks to Toni Bunting.

Plus ça change – this appears to be a modern take on the centuries-old Chinese practice for women to use small statuettes called ‘doctor’s models‘ to indicate to the doctor what was ailing them when face-to-face contact was embarrassing. (Although experts at Christie’s now believe these figures had a ‘more erotic intention’.)

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