Robert S. Fisher, MD, PhD: What Will an Epilepsy Physician Be Doing in the Future?


The Director of the Stanford Epilepsy Center discussed the current activities of epileptologists and considered how this might change in the near future, given advancing technology.

“Technology has advanced to a stage where the many years I spent reading records and teaching others how to read them, may be obsoleted.”

At the American Epilepsy Society’s (AES) annual meeting, in New Orleans, Louisiana, NeurologyLive sat down with Robert S. Fisher, MD, PhD, Director of the Stanford Epilepsy Center, Stanford University, to discuss the current activities of epileptologists and how they might change in the future because of recent technology advances, which can cause questioning of important future skills.

While the future is very much unknown, Fisher began creating a list of current physician tasks, then thought about new technology that might impact such tasks. Fisher explained that things are likely to change. Because there are such substantial advances in machine learning, one area in particular that will likely change is reading/interpreting EEGs, which will become more automated.

While Fisher concludes that physicians won’t be obsolete in the epilepsy space in 5—10 years, probably not even in 20 years, the tasks will be much different. The routine work of medicine will be greatly assisted by machines and physicians will have a greater hand in education, research, and prevention of epilepsy.

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