I recently had an amusing long-distance health experience. I’d scheduled a panel of send-in tests with a clinic in California. After the results came in, I spoke on the phone with a nurse based in Utah to see what kind of vitamins I should be taking.
Because she could not see me, only the numbers on her screen indicating my somewhat high hormone levels, she spent a few minutes treading carefully through a “hypothetical” story about a “hypothetical” woman whose body layered on fat and muscle like crazy due to her estrogen and androgens, and hence who might be worried about what society thought of her massive legs. “Does that sound familiar?” she concluded.
“Not at all,” I replied, gazing down at the matchsticks attached to my lower body.
Sometimes, when you’re just looking at the numbers, you ignore what would be obvious with one in-person glance. That’s why something like localization can never be reduced to numbers alone — when things are long-distance, they can get impersonal really quickly. On some level, you need experts with in-person experience.
This issue on life sciences offers discussion and advice from people who have been through the trenches. With Turkey in the news in a negative way, and the EU shaken up by Brexit, it’s worth noting that both markets offer interesting considerations for health care, and thus deserve their own articles. Something else that will likely only improve in coming years is machine interpreting for health care — already used in limited ways in tourist apps (I’ve even tried one myself), the systems are becoming more sophisticated and are actually being implemented in some cases. We offer two contrasting articles on the topic: one outlining the challenges of a medical-specific system, and another describing a far more broad approach that tends to be used in ad hoc medical situations, much like those tourist apps.