Is Technology Replacing the Patient History?

November 13, 2019

Together, the patient history and physical have been the cornerstone of diagnostics. A frequently referenced study from 1975 found that 91% of diagnoses required only a history and physical. And in 2008, a similar study reported that use of MRI isn't necessary for headache screening because history and physical were sufficient.

But their reign may be coming to an end. Researchers are exploring the use of multi-omic approaches to diagnose diseases such as diabetes. Health tech start-ups aim to increase access to imaging and genetic tests, among others.

If new technologies such as "omics," wearables, and next-generation imaging offer more information than the patient can, will they render the history and physical obsolete?

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