Going to the dentist is not fun. However, one high-tech space is looking to improve the experience in the future. Yeah, right.
For those who fear the whirring drills and spotless teeth of your neighbourhood dentist, you have good reason to, as now they’re measuring the other costly thing they produce from you: fear.
Over at the Center for Precision Dental Medicine (drill noise), at Columbia University have transformed a 15,000-square-foot space into the dental clinic of the future, one designed to decrease patient wait times, lower stress levels, and maximise comfort.
Sure, you bastards, sure.
It’s all in an effort to ensure a better time between dentist and patient. A truly worthy goal, considering that they’d have to reverse two hundred years of societal assumption, negative fictional narratives and stand-up punchlines.
Nevertheless, they’re looking to tailor the experience. At this clinic, a patient starts by signing in at an online portal. They receive a wristband equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) to wear throughout the rest of their visit. This allows the clinic’s staff to always know where the patient is, what procedure they’re receiving, and any additional information about the patient.
The clinic also includes RFID trackers on its chairs that note when patients and doctors “sign in” for a procedure. This could let staff know how long patients typically wait and address issues if they arise.
Perhaps the most pioneering development is the tracking of patient stress levels. The clinic plans to equip each of its digital chairs with biofeedback systems. These systems will measure patients’ heart rates and oxygen levels during procedures.
Eventually, they might even add facial recognition capabilities in order to grant dentists the ability to know when the patient is experiencing stress or pain. That, or they can go to the Wizard of Oz and ask him to give them all a heart.
I’m not bitter, just broke. And my teeth hurt.