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Vol 25, No. 04, April 2021   |   Issue PDF view/purchase
COLUMNS
Is digital technology making healthcare safer?
To err is human. Can the same be said for our digital counterparts?
by Michelle Tan Min Shuen

Not too long ago, I asked a room full of bright-eyed children to draw the first image that came to mind when I said the word “technology”. Almost instantaneously, the children began to move their hands in tight little squares which were almost instinctively filled in with blue colour pencil, resembling misshapen computers and smartphones that are almost ubiquitous to our daily lives. Pacing around the room, one child’s drawing, in particular, caught my eye. The strokes of her colour pencil were gentle but firm, arching to reveal a dark, brooding mare nestled starkly on her blank canvas.

If digital technology were to inhabit a tangible form, it would be a wild horse, streaking, unbridled, across every aspect of our lives. And currently, we would be in the heart of the largest stampede in the world — the fourth industrial revolution — characterized by the rapid growth of new technologies that connect the physical, digital and biological realms in unprecedented ways. The healthcare sector is no exception, with digital technologies such as genomics, AI and blockchain gradually replacing processes traditionally performed by human beings.

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