J Korean Med Assoc.  2017 Nov;60(11):856-858. 10.5124/jkma.2017.60.11.856.

The fourth industrial revolution and changes in the future medical world

  • 1Department of Urology, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. sg2chang@gmail.com


The first three industrial revolutions that took place in history provided people with opportunities to live rich lives, along with cultural benefits. However, with regards to the fourth industrial revolution, which is expected to be completed in the next 10 to 20 years, deep fears are present in the midst of coexisting expectations and worries. Unemployment and the polarization of wealth are problems that the fourth industrial revolution is expected to bring about, and the medical world will also face considerable and fundamental difficulties due to the emergence of artificial intelligence. Based on a review of several arguments and predictive theories that have been presented thus far, the author would like to make the following proposals. The fact that the emergence of artificial intelligence will revolutionize the foundations of the medical world should be clearly recognized. With regards to medical treatment using artificial intelligence, we should be very concerned about whether doctors will be the masters or the slaves of artificial intelligence, and if we are to become the main agents of the age of artificial intelligence, now is the time to engage in careful introspection about what we should do. Medicine will be transformed into predictive medicine in the future thanks to the fusion of information and communications technology with precision medicine, supported by the development of genomics, proteomics, and cytomics. As we enter the age of the fourth industrial revolution, doctors should recognize the fact that only emotionally sensitive approaches to treating patients and interdisciplinary collaboration will protect us.


The 4th industrial revolution; Clinical medicine; Big data; Artificial intelligence; Medical education
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