Are MDs and FAs being Replaced by Robotic Technology?

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On Disruptive Innovation or Deus ex Machina

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP


Dr David E Marcinko MBAAccording to Wikipedia, a disruptive technology is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology.

The term is often used today used in business, healthcare and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically first by designing for a different set of consumers in a new market and later by lowering prices in the existing market.

For Doctors

You can feel it happening in the marketplace around us. Retail clinics, medical tourism, technology-enabled self care — disruptive innovations in the U.S. health care system challenge the status quo. These and other new phenomena zero in on unmet needs, leverage new technologies and business models, and deliver enhanced value throughout the health care supply chain.

So, along with consumerism, healthcare reform and technology, disruptive innovation is one of the three major themes we follow at the ME-P:  and

For Financial Advisors

According to Mike Kitces CFP, MTax, MSFS many of the things that financial advisors do can be implemented far more efficiently with technology, and overall it’s important to acknowledge that there are some things that humans do better but some things that really are done better by computers.

Which means in the end, the real winner may not be the robo-advisors, nor the human advisors, but the technology-augmented humans – the cyborg advisors – who blend human and technology together into an optimal financial advice solution for consumers.





And so, do these big changes create big value opportunities; or not? Of course they may … but only if you know where to look!


Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.


Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact:


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45 Responses

  1. Democratized Artificial Intelligence

    Much chatter on social media and technology lately … But, in addition to social media, we’re on the verge of being able to remotely access AI to generate a reasonably accurate list of diagnoses, suggested tests and recommended do-it-yourself treatments that include the option of doing nothing.



  2. Microsoft Health Tech Today
    [Hot Technology Tools]

    Here, MicrosoftinHealth’s Joel French, VP of Motion Computing, shares the latest advances in mobile clinical devices and provides insider tips on managing successful healthcare IT implementations.

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™


  3. Robotic Surgery

    Robotic-assisted procedures are now widely performed. The major question is whether their high costs outweigh their benefits compared with laparoscopy.

    Too Much, Too Soon?



  4. Will Technology Make Primary Care Doctors “Whole?”

    An essay by James E. Lewis Ph.D.

    And, an excellent topic for consideration.

    Dr. Burgdorff


  5. H-Tech

    Can technology help individualized medical decision making?



  6. Can telepsychiatry really work?

    An essay by Greg Smith, MD.

    Hope R. Hetico RN MHA


  7. Health care through the lens of a technology entrepreneur

    If you want to see the future of health care, but can’t attend the Health Innovation Summit, hosted by Rock Health in San Francisco later this year, be sure to take a look at this link:

    It will blow your mind!

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™


  8. Unaccountable health care

    Are we under reporting robotic surgery problems?

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™


  9. On Technology

    History has shown us that with any advancement of technology that promotes the ease of human “control” over our familiar environment will always bring out the fear factor with resistance. Over time, we as human will learn to either adapt to it or choice to ignore it.

    For those who choose to ignore it will eventually fall further behind the evolution of the changing technology and for those who choice to adapt to new technology will usually continue keep abreast of it.

    Ken Yeung
    Certified Medical Planner™ candidate


  10. Financial Advisor Threat?
    [Beware a Wave of New Online Services Incoming]

    Get ready for a new wave of low-cost, online-only financial advice companies.

    More technology – ugh!



  11. At Fake Hospital – Kaiser Runs a Testing Ground for New Technology

    Pushing around supply carts for miles, tending to plastic babies, and maintaining an ersatz operating theater are how one health-care giant figures out what saves money.

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™


  12. Medicine is stuck in the 80’s
    [A “reverse” comment on my own ME-P]

    I recently watched the new TV show, The Goldberg’s, the other night. While it is a comedy set in the 1980’s, it occurred to me that much of domestic medical care seems set in that same time zone. But, it is NOT funny. Much of our world has changed, and yet far too many elements of our healthcare system seem stuck in the 1980s or before.

    For example:

    * Most important medical information is sent by FAX machine.
    * Data is often siloed between clinics and hospitals down the street from each other.
    * Blood pressures, lab results and blood glucose values are scribbled down in notebooks and rarely if it all shared with the patient’s clinicians.
    * Appointments are often difficulty to obtain, and sourced through multiple choice phone systems.
    * And, hard to decipher prescriptions are hand carried to pharmacies.
    * Waiting rooms are still, well, waiting rooms, replete with old magazines and #2 pencil forms asking the same questions about allergies and addresses to be filled out ad infinitum.

    The above described medical practice scenario is not fiction; it is very REAL. Technology – not for the MD masses.

    And so, should we rename most solo or small group medical practice sitcoms, “Back-to-the-Future?”


    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™


  13. New Sedation Machine Leads to Cheaper Colonoscopies
    [Doctors Not Happy]

    Dr. Marcinko – Anesthesiologists, who are among the highest-paid physicians, have long fought people in health care who target their specialty to curb costs.

    Now the doctors are confronting a different kind of foe: machines.

    Dr. Carlyle


  14. Researchers Warn About Derm Apps
    [On the other hand]

    Mobile dermatology applications may help people learn about UV rays or keep tabs on their moles, but they are not a substitute for seeing a doctor.

    They searched online stores and found over 200 dermatology apps, half of them made for non-doctors. Those included sunscreen recommendation guides, mole photo storage apps and tools meant to help diagnose melanoma.

    So, beware!



  15. Doctor Dinosaur

    According to colleague Dennis Bethel MD, a contributor to our newest textbook under production [TRANSFORMATIONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING 2.0 FOR DOCTORS, HEALTH PROFESSIONALS AND ADVISORS], physicians may not be exempt from extinction.

    What do you think?

    Hope Rachel Hetico RN MHA CMP™
    [Managing Editor]


  16. Primary Care Technicians: A Solution To The Primary Care Workforce Gap
    [by Arthur L. Kellermann, John W. Saultz, Ateev Mehrotra, Spencer S. Jones, and Siddartha Dalal (Health Affairs)]

    Efforts to close the primary care workforce gap typically employ one of three basic strategies: train more primary care physicians; boost the supply of nurse practitioners or physician assistants, or both; or use community health workers to extend the reach of primary care physicians.

    In this article we briefly review each strategy and the barriers to its success. We then propose a new approach adapted from the widely accepted model of emergency medical services. Translating this model to primary care and leveraging the capabilities of modern health information technology, it should be possible to create primary care technicians who can dramatically expand the impact and reach of patient-centered medical homes by providing basic preventive, minor illness, and stable chronic disease care in rural and resource-deprived communities.

    Hope Rachel Hetico RN MHA


  17. Concerns About Robotic Surgery Device

    Hope – The robotic da Vinci Surgical System is linked to “an overall increasing trend in the rate of injury and death reports” since 2004, according to a draft analysis of such events reported to the FDA.

    The analysis, by the chief of adult cardiac surgery at Rush University Medical Center and co-authors from the University of Illinois and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, focused on all adverse-event reports made to the FDA from January 2000 through last December.

    But, the company disagreed with the analysis, according to Dave Rosa, Intuitive’s senior vice president for scientific affairs.

    So, I think we humans will be around a bit longer.

    Dr. Luke


  18. Beautifully detailed artificial cadavers
    [Much like a 3D jigsaw puzzle that pumps heated blood]

    According to this ad, a mere $40K gets you Syndaver’s full-body practice cadaver, a beautifully detailed surgical simulator, with:

    “skin with fat and fascia planes, every bone, muscle, tendon, and ligament in the body, fully articulating joints, a functioning respiratory system including trachea, lungs, and diaphragm, a complete digestive tract from the esophagus to rectum, the urinary tract (kidneys, bladder, and urethra), visceral organs (liver, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen), reproductive organs, a circulatory system with heart and coronary arteries, aorta, vena cava, and the primary arterial and venous trunks leading to the extremities.”

    So, I don’t know about MDs and FAs; but it looks like technology is replacing patients [at least the dead kind].



  19. Can technology be a change agent for health care?

    I was invited to attend a private breakfast with book author, surgeon, and New Yorker contributor Dr. Atul Gawande shortly before Dr. Gawande’s talk at The New Yorker Festival.

    Over breakfast, Dr. Gawande spoke with IBM executive Dr. Paul Grundy on the future of health care. The event was sponsored by IBM so there was plenty of talk about how technology can and will influence the practice of medicine — from big-data diagnoses and personalized medicine to enhancing doctor-patient communications.

    Jay Parkinson MD
    via Ann Miller RN MHA


  20. The new high-tech you

    Some of the most forward-thinking minds in science, medicine and technology are taking the integration of high-tech and human body further than ever.



  21. HIT Innovation

    See the latest innovations from GE Healthcare.

    These new product introductions continue to push the frontiers of disease diagnosis, as well as to support improvement in information and data sharing within healthcare institutions and with other care professionals.



  22. Future Advisor

    FA is an award winning registered investment advisory firm serving clients nationwide from offices in downtown San Francisco.

    They may not be perfect but their team of Chartered Financial Analysts and Math PhDs are said to use technology and software to actively monitor and manage our clients’ existing 401(k), IRA, and taxable accounts from a household-wide, long-term perspective.

    Normal advisors typically charge over 1% of assets managed. FA technology cuts costs in half. Check em’ out.

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA


  23. VIDEO: An inside look at Google Glass for physician use

    Contemporary OB/GYN technology columnist Brian A. Levine, MD, MS, introduces physicians to Google Glass, a wearable technology with many advanced medical applications

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA


  24. The Medical Arms Race – PodCast

    ProPublica’s Charles Ornstein and Steve Engelberg discuss how a peculiar ad for the da Vinci robot offers a glimpse into the hardball world of marketing medical devices.


    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA


  25. Enter the Doctor – Bots?

    Robots Are Coming and They Plan to Treat Doctors like Morons

    Ann Miller RN MHA


  26. Advisors Question Morningstar’s Options for DIY’ers

    Morningstar is offering DIY investors direct access to its separately managed accounts.

    And, some doctors and nurses are also in a twit about technology destroying healthcare.

    The Robo-Advisors are well on their way. Get used to it.



  27. Enter the Certified Medical Planner™ Niche

    Of course, fee-based advisory services are becoming commoditized. Fees are decreasing, in part, because investors’ access to information and expertise—in the form of low-cost online platforms or Robo-Advisors, for example, has increased.

    Greater access to free or low cost information and expertise makes it harder for investors to distinguish the value of one advisor from another. Investors shop around based on fees, further driving down those prices.

    But, cutting expenses alone may not be enough for advisors to offset the fee decline. At best, financial advisors could expect to maintain their revenues, but perhaps not for long.

    Financial advisors who want to grow their revenues essentially have two options: go bigger or specialize.

    We prefer the latter for medical clients and the lucrative healthcare provider sector.

    Eugene Schmuckler PhD EdD MBA
    [Academic Dean]


  28. Robo-Advisor Assets Up 37%

    Diana Britton reported that Robo-Advisor assets grew 37 percent in the last three months to a total of $15.7 billion, up from $11.5 billion since March, a recent Corporate Insight study found.

    Hope Rachel Hetico RN MHA


  29. Enter the Robo Providers

    10 potential benefits of robot caregivers

    But, are these really “highest and best” use – you decide?

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA


  30. On Motif Investing

    Instead of buying mutual funds that revolve around specific asset classes or investing styles, what if retail investors could focus on themes, or “motifs,” such as cybersecurity, cloud computing or even 3-D printing? Motif Investing lets you do just that.

    Started by former Microsoft executive Hardeep Walia, the online brokerage allows investors to build stock and bond portfolios based on everyday ideas and broad economic trends—and share those ideas with friends. A motif like home improvement, for example, will contain up to 30 stocks, each researched and weighted to their exposure to the theme. Investors have the power to change the weight of any of the stocks—or even delete some of them—until they get the portfolio they want.

    The commission for up to 30 stocks in one motif: $9.95. The company is attracting some heavy hitters with its customer-centric approach. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Norwest Venture Partners have already invested in the company. The board of directors boasts Arthur Levitt Jr., former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Sally Krawcheck, former president of Bank of America’s Global Wealth and Investment Management group.



  31. Are workplace robots killing the middle class?

    A new paper argues that automation is polarizing the labor market, creating more jobs at both ends of the skills spectrum.–are-workplace-robots-killing-the-middle-class

    Nee-ner / Nee-ner



  32. The Robo-Doctors

    Rest assured. Technology will not replace doctors.

    But, emerging technologies have the capacity to replace, streamline, or even render unnecessary much of the work that doctors do — in ways that actually increases the value and productivity of physicians.

    Dr. Hetherington


  33. Robots

    Did you know that technology is making even many service jobs tradable, enabling them to be offshored to Asia and other emerging markets? And, eventually, technology will replace manufacturing and service jobs in emerging markets as well.

    Today, for example, a patient in New York may have his MRI sent digitally to, say, Bangalore, where a highly skilled radiologist reads it for one-quarter of what a New York-based radiologist would cost.

    But, how long will it be before a computer software can read those images faster, better, and cheaper than the radiologist in Bangalore can?



  34. Enter the ROBO-ADVISORS

    Machines beat humans at chess. Machines can pilot airplanes to land at O’Hare or on Mars. There is now a machine that beats the best of us at Jeopardy. And, many predict that an Artificial Intelligent medical clinician is ten years away. And, no one will use a biological doctor in twenty five years. Then, the singularity.

    So, if you THINK ROBO-Advisors won’t decimate the industry … think again!

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA


  35. Human / Robotic Hybrids

    FutureAdvisor has two flat fee-based plans: the $49/yr “Gold Plan” gets you call time with a live advisor and 24/7 portfolio monitoring, or the $195 “Platinum” plan, gives you face-time and unlimited video calls with an advisor.


    Rates are flat and they don’t depend on how much money you have. The advice for free. They do not invest it for you, and don’t take a percentage of assets and also don’t work on commission.




  36. Schmuel,

    Many thanks for the comment. This is exactly why we believe all FAs must have true subject matter knowledge and an informed NICHE space.

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™


  37. Dr. Marcinko,

    I could not agree more, and I will be starting the CMP program soon.



  38. Robo Financial Advisors.

    AIEQ is run by EquBot, the co-founders’ AI investment platform and portfolios-as-a-service (PaaS) company. The ETF uses EquBot’s tens of thousands of proprietary models, and each day, the platform focuses on pulling data points related to the 6,000 US companies it tracks. Since 80,000 AI models is far too many for humans to manage, the company leans on IBM Watson to monitor them.

    AIEQ learns from structured data, the traditional kind that’s always been used in the finance world, like revenue, growth, R&D expenditure, and market movements.
    But it also gets insights from unstructured data, like news articles, blogs, corporate innovation announcements, and social media.

    The models have been trained on historical data ranging from five to 30 years, weighing recent data more heavily.




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