Migration of Work at home beyond IT to manual labor

Stimulated by the work at home comments on the 5/4/2020 news.

The work at home movement obviously starts with IT support. But, remote manipulation married to the virtual presence technologies in current gaming will extend work at home to many professionals AND technicians who do manual work. Combining the human operator with a limited but competent AI environment allows for a future where physical bots can be hauled around where needed by autonomous vehicles and then linked to the user/users who operate as a team to accomplish some physical goal. For example…dropping hundreds of small robots on a building collapse scene with operators connected remotely doing search and rescue. Each operator and bot would be backed up with AI serving information about the structure, the people who were known to be in it, the utilities supplied to it. Imagination doesn’t have to go very far to see on scene medical care before drone transport being done the same way, including already having the medical records of the people in the building. When that happens, people will begin to live where they want to live rather than living where they have to work. People who live where they have to live will be able to do manual remote work anywhere the latency in the network will let them.

So, what does this have to do with networking recommendations? It’s a reminder that Thomas Watson, former head of IBM once said there would only be a need for 5 computers. The network infrastructure is the next interstate highway system. It facilitates the move from the physical environmental limits we have now and decouples location and work. The next hot rod scene will be hacking together specialized bots that can do more stuff faster and the network connectivity and security to make them viable.

That’s what I think anyway. Worth discussing?, or too far off topic?

That will eventually be possible, but it is a ways off. The technical limitations will probably be solved long before it actually goes into effect. You can use current technology to say deliver a MDI (metered dose inhaler) to someone having an asthma attack in a collapsed building. For to to autonomously, extract the patient it need to be able to maneuver through the rubble, while still being large and strong enough to move obstructions out of the way and shore up the structure to allow egress without crushing other potential victims, able to extract the patient delicately enough as to not further injure them. To access their medical records they would need all medical records to be available to access. For example, my ambulance company uses software called Angeltrack and our local hospital uses software called Epic. We can not access each others medical record for the same patient, requiring each of us to take our own medical histories. Medical technology has to be approved before use and that requires testing. It would take a while before any technology would be allowed to be used on a real person and even then will have an initially limited implementation.

The technology I am most interested in for EMS use is fully autonomous driving. That would free up my partner to assist me in the back of the ambulance treating the patient.

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. Good to have your experience applied to the question.

With things the way they are, and the forces at play being what they are, Do you think there will be added emphasis on developing AI in combination with human remote operators? You suggest autonomous driving for ambulance. You also mention the very important issue of medical record integration. I know the VA gets a lot of flack, but during a hurricane evacuation some years ago the VA patients were scattered to other facilities from one that had to be evacuated, and all their patient records were available. I know it’s just the VA, but solving those kinds of problems could be another challenge for AI, don’t you think? Have a bot look up the individuals dot records, fbi records, hospital records, dental records. Now there is a problem with abuse for sure, so how would you deal with that. All those things are worth thinking about and probably will come to pass, and when they do, my question is, what will that mean to the network?

The technical problems with medical records probably is’t that bad. The logistical, financial, and security issues are. You would need all electronic medical records companies to agree on standards to make the records more easily portable. The cost of that change and updating the software of all a country’s or the world’s systems would be high. The risk of privacy and security breeches would be high because of the same incompatibility standards and the ability to easily move and edit records acrossed the system. If the system tied into billing for example, you could potentially be looking at a system wide breech of SS#s. The possibility of maliciously changing someone’s ordered medications or allergy information would also be a risk. From an individual provider standpoint, instant access to the medical hx of the person in front of you would be super convenient, but from a system standpoint could turn into kind of a nightmare, Imagine nation wide ransomware or someone just straight deleting all the records. Also if this information were sold, say to insurance corporations, you could see an increase in premiums or direct marketing of medications to you or your physician.