Today: The patient signs in then fills out a form on a clipboard and the staff enters the information.
Future: A patient enters the dental office and immediately the PDA (personal digital assistant; that is a combination handheld computer, cell phone, web browser, camera, music video player and GPS) in their pocket or purse connects with the dental office system using a wireless connection. This alerts the dental office the patient is there and also instantly updates all personal information such as address, insurance, or changes in family status.
Today: The patient fills out a medical history on paper on the clipboard. Hopefully they can remember everything.
Future: The patient’s health history is accessed from the national data base and an artificial intelligence (AI) program analyses the information and sends back a condensed report with specific conditions noted and a series of interview questions to ask the patient and appropriate measures stipulated for dental procedures.
Today: A highly trained (and expensive) dentist reviews the form, interviews the patient and based on training and experience decides if there are any significant health issues.
Future: Once in the treatment room a para-professional auxiliary following the print out interviews the patient and speaks the patient’s responses to various questions into the computer. The interviewer is then prompted by the computer to ask additional relevant questions. The AI system uses the national data base health information, combines it with the specific answers to the interview questions compares all the information against a data base of patients and concludes that it is safe to proceed with specific diagnostic tests.