10 Healthcare Questions for Watson


This week Charlie Rose interviewed the robot Sophia for CBS.  We've come up with the following questions for the famous computer, Watson.  

1.  What is health?  For years, the medical philosophers have said it's the absence of disease.  But is health a negative quality, a lack? The World Health Organization has a positive definition:  “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  But this doesn’t work for those of us with a chronic disease who have learned to have some happiness.  Machteld Huber from the Institute for Positive Health says health is the “ability to adapt and self manage in the face of social, physical, and emotional challenges.”  Health is an ability?  So can babies be healthy?  Please help us Watson!  We won't be good at healthcare if we can't even agree on what health is in the first place.

2.  Are you healthy, Watson?  

3.  Why do drugs cost so much?  This question continues to elude the best minds of our generation.  Perhaps with all your processing power you can come up with a complex answer.  For certainly, the obvious answer can't be right.

4.  Why does the $1,000 genome cost $2,000?  

5.  If a diagnosis is 50% of solving a health issue, then why don’t we pay 50% of healthcare dollars for the diagnostic testing?

6.  Are there enough government funds going into the war on death?

7.  Who would you say was better at health:  Christopher Hitchens, who died at sixty-two but went out swinging, or Mbah Gotho from Java who is 145 and desperate to die because he has outlived all 10 of his siblings, four wives, and also all of his children?  

8.  Is medicine just a good excuse to do more fun biology?  Or is biology, and the naming every letter of our genome, just a distraction from health?  In other words (and we mean no offense by this) is science really the blackbox of health?

9.  If we can prevent disease through gene editing or mitochondrial transfer, should we?  Why wait til our kids are 6 years old and sick with a rare disease to lobby the FDA for drugs?  Why not get a mitochondrial transfer of healthy genes before birth?

10.  Doctors are calling him a textbook narcissist, a sociopath, a psychopath.  Please, Watson, give us the definitive diagnosis for Donald Trump!!!