The world of technology advances every day. And many of those advances impact the medical field. Many hospitals now use robots to perform various surgeries in Washington and across the country. Of course, medical professionals still operate the machines.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School say that instead of operating them, physicians could soon work as a team with machines. They report that learning machines could handle several medical matters in the future and reduce or eliminate medical errors.
Could machines stop medical malpractice?
It is true that human negligence is at the center of every medical malpractice claim. When medical professionals do not uphold their high standard of duty to their patients, they are responsible for any resulting injuries.
One of the most common forms of medical malpractice is the failure to diagnose illnesses. The artificial intelligence and learning machines mentioned in the article excel at correct diagnoses, as well as testing whether treatments work. Therefore, they could reduce the chance of failed diagnoses.
However, robots have not made a significant difference in other areas of the medical field so far. Many people have still suffered injuries from robotic surgeries as well.
Malfunctions and the risk of medical machine injuries
Machines may learn from human errors, but even the article admits that these machines are not perfect. While they could eliminate medical malpractice, they might not reduce medical injuries. Mistakes are still possible.
The question is, would it still be medical malpractice if someone suffered an injury because of a medical machine? Bringing a lawsuit against a hospital may still be possible in these cases.
Medical errors or product errors?
Or perhaps, it would not be a medical malpractice claim. A machine is a product, regardless of how it learns. Medical machines could reduce medical malpractice cases, but they could also increase defective product cases if they malfunction.