Blogs | Healthcare 4.0: dehumanization continues

After having devastated the coasts and landscapes of the former Bel Paese thanks to the overbuilding wild, the Italian political corporation (above all the regional one) began to look for new territory to be used for looting. An obligatory choice: the healthcare, i.e. the first item in the budget of all regional bodies. An operation carried out through the sale to private individuals of the most profitable services and then – little by little – the sale to entrepreneurial/speculative groups of entire hospitals and polyclinics. All favored by the neoliberal mood, very Chicago School of privatization as a universal panacea, preached by the obsessed students of Milton Friedman, who found fertile ground here first of all in the place most exposed to the ideology of simplification: the Lombardy; already in 1995 with the presidency of Roberto Formigoni, then ended up in prison for health profiteering. Not without – however – having made school, showing politicians and other unscrupulous people the main road to easy money.

And who cares if this vile market was scorched earth of public health and litter of citizens’ health, starting from the epicenter of Milan; as the peaks of deadly inefficiency in the midst of the Covid pandemic have tragically certified. And all the good intentions of reversing the trend, manifested in those two years, were quickly set aside. Now the grip on the health business shows no signs of shrinking, only it is renewing the communicative apparatus with which to deceive public opinion. In fact, for some time now we have been witnessing the lexical renewal of the message, which as usual tends to validate the withdrawal of the State from the area of ​​health as a choice imposed by technological evolution: all the illusionistic abracadabra of a techno-believer (sensors, cloud computing, big data, robots with the funny face) as a shortcut to eliminate the human quality in the care relationship.

The re-proposition of the same allegedly decisive devices that in recent years characterized the mystifying recipes for replacing living work with dead work as a parody of corporate efficiency (after the season of decentralizations productive in the Third/Fourth world). Drawing labor saving and its wild decimations, the effects of which have proved disastrous (deindustrialization, dependence on foreign suppliers even for Covid masks, unemployment growingtransition from exploitation to exclusion). All summarized by the fatal numbers that the modernist alla vaccinara, the minister Carlo Calenda, liked so much: 4.0.

In fact now greedy sorcerer’s apprentices speak of healthcare 4.0, in an apotheosis of flue in the form of special effects. Supreme touch up-to-date, the appearance of the mystery adjective “computational”. Write a house organ Of Confindustriaproposing to us the wonder of the project for the first national center of computational and technological medicine: “aimed at transferring to the clinic the research results generated by the application of computational calculation to biological models and robotic technology management programs, as well as their subsequent development in the prototype phase in partnership with players in the sector”.

Raise your hand if you think you understand what it means this futuristic slang salad. Computational as computational? That is, the activity aimed at calculation, starting from the use of the abacus. Since the term has been associated with the present-day star of the moment – ​​i Big Data, which have replaced “networking” in the ranking of the fictitious-epochal cliché – we refer to the syntactic ability of Artificial Intelligence to elaborate chains of taxonomies by processing information. Nothing more. And one of the leading scholars of the infosphere – the Oxford professor Luciano Floridi – explains to us that the much-hyped AI isn’t all that intelligent, given that limps in semantics: the understanding of the meaning, i.e. the identification of the cause. What must ensure a good diagnostics.

At most, computational medicine can standardize approaches to treatment in the logic of large numbers, so appreciated by the business. But it is also a further contribution to dehumanization in progress, at the time of the commodification of the living; perhaps entrusted to the sociopathic nature of a calculator like Hal 9000. As in “2001 A Space Odyssey” by Stanley Kubrick.

Blogs | Healthcare 4.0: dehumanization continues – Il Fatto Quotidiano