Human Labour and Automation in Healthcare

The project I am working on is entitled “The Future of Healthcare: Computerisation and automation in general practice services.” This project evolved out of the widely cited 2013 paper from Carl Frey and Mike Osborne on the future of employment and how susceptible jobs are to automation. They are both Co-PIs on this project and Eric Meyer is the Chief Investigator. We seek to understand, evaluate, and eventually identify probabilities for the automation of work tasks in general practice medical services. This project has two phases. The first is primarily qualitative, and is designed to gather data from observations, interviews, document collection, photographs, video, surveys, and ethnographic fieldwork in general practice surgeries. This phase is to generate a detailed understanding of every task that occurs in a general practice. These tasks are then classified so we know what kind of work practices, people, and skills are required to complete each task. The second phase uses these qualitative data to inform and develop quantitative models and computer software that can help predict the automation probability of various tasks. We then look for opportunities for automation of tasks in the GP setting as well as developing a deeper understanding of challenges, problems, and how automation may impact the patient experience and the patient-provider relationship.

Matthew Willis is a Researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute. He earned his PhD in Information Science & Technology from Syracuse University. He has been a researcher in academic, government, and private institutional settings including Sandia National Laboratories, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and several university affiliated research centres where he was a contributor to multiple grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). Matt joined the Oxford Internet Institute to work on a project sponsored by The Health Foundation entitled “The Future of Healthcare: Computerisation, Automation, and General Practice Services.”