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AI v Human Touch  Savvy Cooperative  #AskPatients

The season of love is upon us. Valentine’s Day is almost here. Some people buy chocolates, other plan romantic dinners…and others create AI generated candy hearts (obvi).

Robot Valentines

A few days ago, Janelle Shane shared the quite humorous results of her experiment that trained a neural network to generate the candy heart messages we have grown to associate with the holiday.

But rather than the usual, “You’re Sweet” or “Be Mine”— the program created some pretty interesting messages (like my favorite from her post “You Are Bag”), signaling that we’re not quite ready for robots to take over the world. There are still some things best delivered with the human touch. Or we need a robot translator.

Humanizing Healthcare

While there are many technologies that are poised to revolutionize medicine and the delivery of healthcare, we aren’t ready to take the human out of the equation. We still need compassionate people to not only deliver care, but help co-design and create it from the start.

If you were romantically handed a candy heart that read “Love 2000 Hogs Yea” — you wouldn’t respond “oooo, that’s so sweet, I love you too!”

Similarly, we can’t expect a doctor or nurse to deliver the equivalent of a bogus candy heart to a patient and expect the patient to know what the heck to do. We need to backup a few (or many!) steps. We need patients co-designing healthcare solutions with innovators from the start, so by the time they reach the market — and the patient’s bedside —they don’t leave patients scratching their heads. Instead they seamlessly integrate.

The candy hearts may be a stretch of a comparison, but exemplifies that in 2018, tech alone cannot solve healthcare.

We need to infuse empathy throughout the system.

And the best way to do this is to listen to peoples’ experiences, act on what is learned, and hey — maybe even give them a thank you so they know you care.

Celebrating Real Humans

That’s why at Savvy Cooperative, we made our own Valentines. And we didn’t even have to write a single line of code, just the digital equivalence of a glue stick, construction paper and some badass poetry.

You can check out all our cards here, and send one to someone you appreciate who is positively impacting healthcare by speaking up and sharing their experience. Join in the convo by using #YourSavvyAdmirer.

Savvy Cooperative helps companies get the consumer and patient insights they need by providing an online marketplace to connect professionals directly with patients of all conditions. Reach out if we can help. or follow us on Twitter @savvy_coop.

Jen Horonjeff
Post by Jen Horonjeff
February 12, 2018
Jen Horonjeff, PhD, is a life-long autoimmune disease patient and brain tumor survivor turned human factors engineer, academic, FDA advisor, and now the founder & CEO of Savvy Cooperative.