A friend and colleague shared some research with me today. Radiologists who read imaging exams — such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and CT scans — may do a better job if they see a picture of the face that goes with the diagnostic test, according to research presented at the Radiology Society of North America’s annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois (December 2008). Radiologists in the study said they read CT scans more meticulously and felt more empathy when they saw a patient’s face, although it’s not clear whether the photo actually improved their accuracy in interpreting the test results.
I hardly find this surprising, do you? Technology does so much good. And, in some ways it seems to move us farther from the humanity that’s at the heart of life. I’m hopeful that with increasing technological power – like bandwidth for sharing photos and videos – that we’ll find that sweet spot where technology and humanity come together to maximize good.