As a follow-up to this post on my other blog, I read a fascinating account of how computers might help with the diagnostic process of medicine. It's impressive that the Watson system can digest research papers as well as handwritten notes. But I do worry that this is not really what patients expect from their physicians. Quite a lot of my time is spent consoling, explaining, demystifying and guiding patients along the healthcare pathway. I suppose Watson might improve diagnosis and therapy planning in some specialties where there is a need to weight up large numbers of biomarkers and genetic information, as well as clinical symptoms and signs. But I'm not convinced it would add much to cardiology practice.