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The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age by Robert Wachter

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Chapter 17The Robot

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them.

—Alfred North Whitehead, An Introduction to Mathematics, 1911

During my visit to UCSF’s seventh-floor satellite pharmacy, I saw the pharmacists verifying many medication orders. A few seconds after the pharmacists approved some of the orders, a label popped out of a nearby printer, and one of the technicians read it and gathered up the appropriate medication. When the order was for pills, she did this by pouring the pills out of bottles or tearing them from strips of serrated blister packs. When the order called for an intravenous solution, she mixed it under the aluminum hood with a meticulousness that would ...

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