The wonder drug: A digital revolution in health care is speeding up | The Economist

Health startup spending

WHEN someone goes into cardiac arrest, survival depends on how quickly the heart can be restarted. Enter Amazon’s Echo, a voice-driven computer that answers to the name of Alexa, which can recite life-saving instructions about cardiopulmonary resuscitation, a skill taught to it by the American Heart Association.

Alexa is accumulating other health-care skills, too, including acting as a companion for the elderly and answering questions about children’s illnesses. In the near future she will probably help doctors with grubby hands to take notes and to request scans, as well as remind patients to take their pills.

Alexa is one manifestation of a drive to disrupt an industry that has so far largely failed to deliver on the potential of digital information. Health care is over-regulated and expensive to innovate in.

Read more: The wonder drug: A digital revolution in health care is speeding up | The Economist

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Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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