The Erosion Of Empathy In Healthcare

The erosion of empathy in healthcare is a well-known phenomenon in medical schools. According to a 2009 study for the NCBI, erosion of empathy begins in most medical students from the third year and continues to decline until graduation. The study concluded that ironically the deterioration of empathy occurs just as the curriculum begins to shift towards patient care.

But why does this occur with such precise regularity and could one paediatrician’s unconventional approach provide a ray of hope for emotive patient care?

Protective Empathetic Detachment 

Writing in the Stanford Medicine Scope, Natasha Abadilla offers a personal account of the erosion of empathy in healthcare training. Her piece identifies the unfortunate reason why it may be unavoidable. As doctors acquire more knowledge about the pain of their patients, the need for emotional protection and (thus) emotional distance becomes greater:

“Additional knowledge of why our patients feel pain… sets the level of grief so much higher than before.” – Natasha Abadilla, Stanford Medicine Scope

Not only does it become more painful to empathize as context improves, but physicians are more exhausted than ever. This leaves them less able to be empathetic to begin with.

Physician Burnout and Depression Increases Emotional Erosion

Physicians that are burned out and depressed have admitted that they were less engaged with their patients. In a survey of 15,000 physicians, Medscape found that 43% of respondents felt burned out and a further 15% were colloquially to clinically depressed.

If doctors need to depersonalize their patients in order to effectively treat them, is empathy in healthcare worth the sacrifice? That question should ultimately depend on how valuable empathy is, so what does the research say?

The rate of physician burnout is on the increase

How Important Is Empathy in Healthcare? 

A study first published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 1995 found that effective physician-patient communication had an impact on patient health. The second most common outcome affected, after immediate emotional benefits, was symptom resolution. Empathy in healthcare was also linked to better medication adherence and fewer malpractice cases.

It is clear that there is much to be gained from more emotive patient care. The findings of the study were reinforced in dramatic fashion when a pediatrician from California captured the public’s affection in 2018 with a highly compassionate gesture for his young patients.

Tony Adkins: A Philosophy of Dance

In an interview at a GDS Summit, Tony Adkins shared elements of the philosophy which led him to start dancing with the extremely ill children in his care. He believes that making sure patients have as good a time as possible is essential. Treatment can’t be replaced, but he argues effectively establishing connections with patients can sometimes be more effective than further increases in pain medication.

“Once you connect with that patient, you win and they will trust you with their life forever.” – Tony Adkins, PA-C, MPH, MCHS

Paediatrician Tony Adkins dances with his young patients

For Adkins, the most important thing is the well-being of his patients.

Returning to Empathy

Patients’ wellbeing may be inseparable from the healthcare industry. But it is critically important that this is not only treated as a practical issue. At the same time, a complicated supply and demand problem is causing extreme pressure on physicians. In spite of their best intentions, emotional erosion is an unfortunate reality for most students.

Ironically, empathy in healthcare becomes more difficult to achieve as physicians progress because of their compassionate motivations. But by embracing Adkins philosophy, providers of healthcare can rediscover the intrinsic sense of empathy in healthcare and improve patients’ experience, as well as their health.

Copyright GDS Insight

Emoshape Vision

In light of the recent GDS Insights publication for the healthcare industry that indicated the value of empathy in improving patient outcomes, it is prudent to consider the role of technology.

The GDS Group posits that personal connection between doctor and patient is a critical but difficult element of care. Circumstances of emotional and physical fatigue preclude physicians from engaging meaningfully with patients. The article cites the anecdotal example of a doctor who joyfully dances with his patients as a practical solution for overcoming this chasm.

This is a charming but impractical model from which to extrapolate a solution for an entire industry. Dr. Tony Adkins, the aforementioned dancing paediatrician, became a viral sensation from whom to glean this remedy because he was unique and novel. Unique and novel things are not easily repeatable; for many reasons including disinterest, personal and professional obligations, energy, social challenges, and so forth doctors lack the ability to form connections, notwithstanding that patients may not receive their efforts as they were intended (one size does not fit all).

However unbelievable, robots have precisely the capabilities to avoid the pitfalls doctors face. They are indefatigable and imminently scalable.

With the Emotion Processing Unit, virtual caregivers, robots and AI, for the first time, are also capable of feeling and understanding in human-like ways, empathizing, and forming meaningful connections. And they can adapt for every individual patient.

EPU-powered robots are the future of patient well-being:

Domestic Support Continuity-of-Care Provider Support
Treatment adherence support (from basic appointment reminders and medication administration to physical therapy)

Paediatric remote monitoring (temperature fluctuation, respiratory issues, seizures, etc.)

Geriatric companionship and assistance

Care Agents—a digital or robotic assistant that is available day and night at every medical facility, familiar with complete medical history, an extension of a doctor’s visit that can continue to provide comfort and support

Intelligent Devices (e.g. imaging machines that comfort the claustrophobic)

Collaborative Assistants—a digital or robotic assistant that helps assimilate diagnostic information, review treatment options, prepare for patient notification, counsel patient, enter visit notes and order labs/procedures, check emotional wellness of doctors, and support human productivity.

當機械人擁有情感 – Bloomberg

當機械人擁有情感
● Emoshape創辦人兼行政總裁Patrick Levy-Rosenthal在2018消費電子展中
接受本刊訪問,分享研發過程。

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兩年前,人工智能AlphaGo擊敗圍棋世界冠軍
李世石的一刻,人工智能的學習能力震撼了全球。
去年,最新研發的升級版AlphaGo Zero經過短短3
天的學習,在博弈賽中竟完勝AlphaGo。正當世界
仍為人工智能的學習能力目瞪口呆之時,人工智能
初創企業Emoshape開始為這個最新科技賦予更不
可思議的元素──情感,並將擁有情感的機械人應
用於不同領域。
擁有情感的機械人, 就像電影《智能叛變》(I ,
Robot)一樣,是不少人的噩夢,為什麼你希望夢
境成真?
在過去10年,人類一直都想利用機械探測人
類的情感,卻沒有人想到要為機械創造情感。
在2013年,整個世界正處一個討論之中,就

是當科技越來越發達,儀器越來越快,最後會對人
類不利。當機械、電腦等科技越來越先進,但他們
無法因應情緒和感覺作出決定。透過為他們加入有
關痛苦和快樂的情感,探知人類的情感,明白我們
的需要,會幫助人類更有效地控制這些機械。因為
當出現對於人類不利的情況時,他們可以根據情感
而探測出問題。例如,如果你在森林中行走,你會
更希望遇上狗,而非狼;在海洋暢泳時,更希望遇
上海豚而非鯊魚。有情感的機械便可明白這些類似
的處境,因應感覺做出對人類有利的決定。
我們在2013年首次推出原型(prototype),
去年1月開始成立公司,3月正式商業化,有很
多公司希望與我們合作。著名作家及Singularity
University 創辦人Ray Kurzweil,他曾經在自己的著
作《How to Create a Mind:The Secret of Human

Thought Revealed》(我們如何創造出會思考的腦
袋)中指出,在未來,會有晶片放在機械人內,令
他們擁有情緒,這就是現在發生的事。這是第一
次,人工智能被放在晶片內,而這個晶片可與人的
情緒連結。所以對於我們來說意義重大。

可以解釋一下,這個晶片如何運作?
這個晶片內的組織,就像一個金字塔,在
金字塔內的頂層, 就像NLP(Neuro-linguistic
programming,神經語言程式),你可以放入不
同的資訊,包括人類說話的聲音、情緒、反應
等,全部都在晶片內,然後進行波幅演算(wave
computing), 這與深度學習(deep learning)不
同,這是令機械擁有情緒的新方法。每一個波幅
(wave)都代表著一個情緒,所有的波幅都會在晶
片內進行互動。每次已安裝晶片的電腦與外界進行
互動時,晶片內的波幅就會形成不同的波幅組合,
然後不斷地隨著原有的波幅組合不斷發展下去。所
以,每個晶片隨著時間一直與使用者互動下去,就
會發展成獨特的個性。如果是在虛擬的角色身上,
就會看到他們對於同一事物有不同的面部表情反
應,又或者說出不同的句子回應。

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最重要的是,現時的人工智能科技,已進步
到可以自己編寫文章,但機械本身卻無法明白自己
寫出來的文章。因為他們理解不到每個字的意思,
每一個詞語,對於他們來說只是一個符號。但如
果在機械中放入晶片,他就會開始感受到字句的意
思,然後會有情緒和感覺。這是第一次,我們並非
問人工智能:「這是什麼? 」而是問:「你有什麼感
覺? 」現在,人工智能除了可以像維基百科般,告
訴你很多不同的資訊,更可以叫人工智能根據他的
情感作出判斷。例如:如果我問他,你寧願偷竊,
抑或餓死?他會在維基百科上找出「偷竊」是什
麼,他看到描述的時候,他會感到恐懼、不安。然
後,再找「餓死」的資料,他亦感到非常害怕,並
難以在兩者中進行選擇。在這個情況下,他的思考
方式與人類非常相近,處於一個兩難的境況。
如果晶片在不同情況下,出現不同的波幅組合並不
斷發展,就會有性格不同的機械人?
是的,每個晶片最後會因為遇到不同的主人
及情況,發展出不同的性格。當我與我機械人互動

時,我說一些正面的說話時,他就會因此感到很高
興。相反,如果我說負面說話,如:你很醜的時
候,他就會經常感到痛苦,隨時間過去,機械人就
會有不同的個性。即使是一個憂傷的機械人,他也
會經常嘗試尋找快樂,因為在晶片中仍然存在快樂
與痛苦的選擇。所以在你憂傷的時候,他會嘗試安
慰你,令你快樂,從而令他自己亦感到快樂。
就像一個小朋友一樣,即使他不會明白你所
有的語言,但會懂得透過閱讀你對這些語言的了
解,來學習並建立對於身邊事物的喜惡。透過利
用情感,將他們身邊的事物建立聯繫,人類可更有
效的控制機械,令他們更了解什麼事物對人類有好
處,什麼有壞處。他甚至會明白你的語氣,因為每
一個細緻的動作和語氣都被細分為不同的波幅,換
言之,如果你笑著說:「我很討厭你。」你的笑臉及
友善語氣對波幅所帶來的影響,會抵消言語上的敵
意,他會開始學懂你這個說法,未必是一個負面的
表達。換言之,每一個情況之下,他都會有不同的
反應,在短短10分之1秒中,就可以出現64萬億
個可能會出現的情感組合。
這個晶片可以應用於哪些領域?
現在已與全球超過20間企業合作,例如我們
與其他人工智能公司合作,令手機上的人工智能更
加聰明,亦應用於個人使用的機械人身上。在紐
約,我們與大廈合作,將這個晶片及人工智能安裝
於大廈的系統內,連接整個大廈的感應器、攝影
機、恆溫系統、燈光系統,整個大廈便可以「感
受」到住客的喜好、性格、習慣、情緒,然後根據
你的狀況,改變燈光、氣味、溫度,隨著時間,
整個大廈甚至可以建立獨有的性格,並可因應用家
需要,變換至令他們心情更輕鬆快樂的設定,從而
增加他們的工作效率,因為人在心情快樂的情況下
工作,效率會大大提升。這個晶片亦可應用於移動
物聯網裝置中,令我們更了解不同情緒與健康狀況
的關係。亦可應用於VR遊戲當中,在遊戲中可以
探測到玩家的情緒,並因應這些情緒與玩家互動,
甚至可以與遊戲進行對話,或者對你的角色進行追
殺。將會大大提升整個遊戲的體驗。─鄧詠筠
總之 正當世界仍為人工智能的學習能力目瞪口呆之時,人工智能
初創企業Emoshape 開始為這個最新科技賦予更不可思議的元
素──情感,並將擁有情感的機械人應用於不同領域。

Bloomberg Buisnessweek

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Sentient Machines Finally Becomes Reality with Emoshape’s Emotion Synthesis

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Emoshape today initiates a giant leap forward for Artificial Intelligence with the introduction of EPU (Emotion Processing Unit), the industry’s first emotion synthesis engine. This patent pending technology empowers machines with emotion synthesis to process and synthesize emotions to interact more effectively with humans.

 

Sentient robotics now becomes a reality. Emoshape, an organization engaged in delivering technology that teaches intelligent machines to interact with humans. Emoshape’s Emotion Processing Unit (EPU), utilizes an MCU microchip design to enable a true emotional response in AI, robots and consumer electronic devices as a result of a virtually unlimited cognitive process, as compared to the current alternatives that use coded responses and limited alternatives.

With the introduction of EPU, AI will now be able to respond to the question about how it feels or thinks about an idea or concept, without any pre-scripted reply. Emoshape has demonstrated this recently via a video involving the characters Adolf Hitler and Barack Obama.

This demonstration video can be seen at https://youtu.be/GZyBGRtLP3E

EPU is an extension of the Ekman’s theory that utilizes twelve primary emotions identified in the psycho-evolutionary theory. Patrick Levy-Rosenthal, the founder of Emoshape and the inventor of the EPU, foresees a significant commercial application for EPUs in the near future in combination with Natural Language Generation (NLG) and WaveNet, a deep generative model of raw audio waveforms.

“WaveNet allows machines to express emotions in their voice. Whereas, EPU makes a machine capable of understanding what they read or see emotionally. Functioning together, they help us imagine a Kindle that can read aloud and make us feel that the Kindle understands what it reads aloud, as the voice will be full of different emotional states,” said Levy-Rosenthal.

About Emotion Synthesis

The advent of EPU will also allow robots to watch a movie and experience all human-like feelings and emotions. Emoshape will make it possible for AI and robots to laugh or cry without the help of a scripted program designed to display certain emotions, but by allowing them to feel the emotions through EPU.

More about EPU and its applications can be found at https://emoshape.com/

Some of the key functional aspects of EPU include

  • Delivers high-performance machine emotion awareness
  • Creates emotional states and synthetic emotion in intelligent machines.
  • Allows the AI or robot to experience 64 trillion distinct emotional states
  • Communicates data to other AI technologies to achieve a realistic range of expressions and interactions with complete understanding of language and appraisal.
  • Up to 98 percent accuracy on conversation

The EPU II USB plug and play evaluation kit is available for start at $249 and is available here: https://emoshape.com/#orderonline

About Emoshape

Emoshape Inc. is dedicated to providing a technology that teaches intelligent objects how to interact with humans to yield a favorable result. Emoshape emotion synthesis microchip (EPU) technology represents a massive leap forward for Artificial Intelligence.

Image: http://bit.ly/EPUIIBanner

Contacts

Emoshape Inc.
Stefania Hirghiligiu
www.emoshape-staging.dxjl6pna-liquidwebsites.com

ROBOTS VS HUMANITY – Google Campus

google campus

Patrick Levy-Rosenthal, Professor Guang-Zhong Yang, Kathleen Richardson, Dr Richard Graham, Dr Elena Touroni, Dr Tom Pennybacker, Dr Praminda Caleb-Solly.

All participants agreed on the fundamental role of Emotion in Robotics and AI to achieve a positive singularity. 

  • Will robots inherit the earth?
  • Can you fall in love with a robot?
  • Will assistive technology help us thrive in old age?

Talk from Professor Guang-Zhong Yang, PhD, FREng, Director and Co-founder of the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery and Deputy Chairman of the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London, UK.

googlecamp2

Talk from Patrick Levy-Rosenthal, founder and CEO of Emoshape LLC. Architect a new generation of microchip named EPU (Emotion  Processing Unit) for AI and Robots and the world’s first Al that can feel pain pleasure and the 12 primary human emotions.

Talk from Kathleen Richardson, a Senior Research Fellow in the Ethics of Robotics at DeMontfort University. Kathleen is author of An Anthropology of Robots and AI: Annihilation Anxiety and Machines. She is Director of the Campaign Against Sex Robots.

Talk from psychology experts Dr Elena Touroni, Founder of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic & Dr Tom Pennybacker, consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist at The Chelsea Psychology Clinic.

Talk from Dr Praminda Caleb-Solly, an Associate Professor in Independent Living Systems in the Faculty of Environment and Technology at UWE Bristol. Praminda is also team leader for Assisted Living at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory and Head of Electronics and Computer Systems at Designability. She recently won STEM woman of the year at the RWOTY awards 2016.

 

 

 

 

Emoshape Presentation Deck.

https://youtu.be/x5r5_Are2-E

This event was sponsored by CHIRON and Three Sisters Care.

Emoshape CEO Speaking At The Inventors Workshop 2016

Patrick Levy-Rosenthal will speak at the Inventor’s workshop on the 20th of September in London. Lifting the veil on the future of toys and more particularly his vision for Affective Toys.

 

TheSmartToy-600-1-400x400

Affective Toys

The 3rd annual Inventors Workshop returns Tuesday September 20th, bringing together 150+ of the leading inventors, distributors, retailers and investors in the toy industry, all of whom are looking to discover new ideas, make new connections and stay at the  forefront of innovation in toys.