You Choose: High Tech? or High Touch?

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You Choose: High Tech? or High Touch?

Everywhere we turn, our worlds are being controlled by technology. “There’s an app for that!” we hear. And, for much of our lives, that’s just fine. I’m OK with an app keeping track of who shows up at my front door, or the choices I make for watching TV, or connections with email or text, or a quick reminder from Alexa on when to put the trash cans out to the street. All useful. All convenient. But what I’m not OK with is too much of my healthcare being turned over to technology when I just want a human being to hold my hand and provide me with peace of mind. I don’t mean all the time! If I require a check-up, or some bloodwork, then I don’t need a handholder. But If I have dire symptoms, or pain in a strange body part, or anything scary like that – yes – I need a human being to be there for me. I can’t turn to my cell phone for comfort (can you?) Now, granted, I am pretty much old-school on this. I’m old enough to remember the days when the doctor came to the house! So I grew up in a world where the doctor spent time with me, answered my questions, provided me with decision-making support. And listened to me! Unfortunately, with healthcare’s focus on tech, and to the exclusion of that one-on-one peace of mind that we had in the old days. I’m still looking for Marcus Welby (don’t know Marcus Welby? Look him up!). Instead I’m getting portals and communication with a tech, if at all. And that just does not cut it for me. So much reliance on technology, to the exclusion of personal experiences (high touch), has now created patients who are more uncertain, more scared than ever before. If you were diagnosed with cancer 20 years ago, you had a doctor to discuss it with. If you are diagnosed with cancer today, you can read about it in your portal. So where does that leave us? It leaves us craving that gone-missing part of what we used to get from our doctors and other providers – a sense that they cared one way or the other, that we weren’t just another part of the profit machine, that whether we were successfully treated, safely, really mattered. That we were in it together. Enter independent,…



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