The pushy, creepy doctor whom patients trust
With his hand placed on his aching back, his legs feeling heavy like lead, and different appointment times swirling around in his head, Peter stumbled through the clinic door. In a controlled manner, he addressed the receptionist and informed her of his appointment. Her face radiated with a certain degree of professionalism, as she was one of the best at what she does. “She must be a luminary in her field,” Peter thought aptly – and turned out to be right. He lost himself in the thought that he had seen the woman somewhere before. “Wear O.S.” was printed on her name tag, which though simple in design, expressed the stoic expression and almost symmetrical facial features of the lady. With a monotone voice that reminded Peter a little bit of the voice output from his Android smartphone, Mrs. O.S. spoke with an authoritative voice.
“Good afternoon. I presume that you are here for the 12 o’clock appointment? As you are already taking advantage of the digital health card, your smartphone was scanned when you first came in, and the doctor is ready to see you. Hence, please enter through that door and scan your left wrist,” said the receptionist. Peter followed her instructions without uttering a word, stepping through the only door in the room that is surrounded by snow-white walls. He convinced himself once more by glancing at the sign on the door for confirmation. He made his way towards Dr. Tic Watch’s office. “A Chinese name?”, the thought flashed across Peter’s mind before he opened the door, as he struggled with his colored viewpoint. “Hello, please sit down. My name is Dr. Mobvoi TicWatch Pro. You have already introduced yourself and your symptoms online – among the symptoms you suffer from are back pain and general confusion in everyday life. You could obviously shed a few pounds around the waist, and looking more dapper would not hurt, either. It’s all not very uncommon these days, you know.”
Feeling a little overwhelmed by the apt diagnosis, while feeling insulted at the same time, Peter remembered how the ad on the net piqued his interest a few days ago. “Unlike many other doctors, Dr. Tic Watch is always at your side. For only €150, he will remind you of your appointments, motivate you to exercise, and alert you to incoming messages from your contacts. All of that allows you to concentrate on what is really important: A doctor who is on call around the clock, without any absences, or even suffer from waiting times? This was what Peter had wanted for years and still could not quite believe it.
When other doctors sleep, Dr. Tic Watch remains awake and active
With some hesitation, Peter listened to the sound of the doctor’s voice, which still sounded a little bit unusual as it came through the thin cloth mask. Dr. Tic Watch seemed to wake up from a kind of microsleep as if a button had been pressed to activate it. “Of course!” he replied.
Peter gathered all his courage, because usually it’s the doctors who ask the questions. “How are you always available? Don’t you have to sleep or eat?” The doctor nodded cautiously while wrapped in his rather unconventional, dark grey coat. “You are right, of course. But where other doctors are not approachable during their breaks, I am still available to keep you informed. Admittedly, my mind is not quite as brilliant and colorful,” the doctor laughed, but Peter felt that his question had not been answered in sufficient detail. “What exactly do you mean by that?”
“My way of working is similar to working in shifts, although it will only involve a single person. Most of the time, the day shift takes up the bulk of my attention as that is when I am most busy while running at maximum efficiency. When the day comes to an end, the shift then changes pace as I enter the night shift. Basic services are still guaranteed, but productivity begins to take a dip. As soon as I, uh, recover in time to meet the day shift, my body, if it were a building, would light up again in various colors and achieve full productivity”.
Peter agreed with this analogy, but it did not quite answer the question about the doctor’s bedtime. A brief moment of pondering that Peter did at that moment gave Dr. Tic Watch enough time to push himself up from the dark brown leather chair and walk over to his patient’s metal chair. To Peter’s horror, the doctor pulled a black leather glove over his right hand as he walked through the air-conditioned office, moving ominously towards his patient. Fear turned into relief, as Peter watched as the doctor reached for his left wrist. Well, it seems that all of that went well.
Healing through the laying of (joint) hands?
“Let’s see, I can now get on with diagnosing you. Is the strap okay like this or is it too tight? What do you think?” Dr. Tic Watch stood beside him with his arm stretched out. Peter wasn’t sure how much longer the doctor would hold his arm, but he quickly got used to the gentle pressure that was being applied. He looked at the leather glove, which gave off a slightly artificial smell. The material clung snugly to his skin, and somehow he found himself drawn to the contrast between the dark leather and his pale skin color. Peter’s vision failed to register a light, green light that constantly penetrated his skin in secret.
“Your pulse rate currently stands at 95,” and Peter thought that the figure seemed far too high with some fear that he would surely die soon. He had the impulse to check his elevated pulse by performing a Google search for a possible mortality cause. “Isn’t a pulse of 95 already too high? Am I going to die, doctor?” he asked loudly with some beads of sweat forming on his forehead. The doctor hesitated and replied, “115, your pulse is now 115. Now it’s dropping to 110, hitting 85. 55. 120.”
The doctor moved the glove into position and made a few more adjustments, whereupon a look of relief washed over the doctor’s face. He said, “72. Your pulse is at 72. A steady 72 and holding.” The new number unsettled Peter, because the doctor didn’t seem to find it necessary to run several more checks for consistency. “How do you measure my pulse anyway?” the patient asked in an attempt to fish for some answers.
“Inside my glove lies a pulse sensor, an NFC chip for data transmission, measuring instruments for acceleration in addition to ambient light and magnetic sensors. So I can measure your vital statistics and notice when you take a step or make your way up a flight of stairs. But let me worry about that, trust me.” “If I take a step…?!”, Peter could not quite finish his sentence, when he was snapped out of his concentration by the vibrating of his smartphone. Instinctively, his hand moved to his right trouser pocket to silence the alarm.
However, even before he could reach his smartphone, there was another sensory impression that came over him on his wrist. Dr. Tic Watch shook Peter’s arm shortly after the vibration alarm of the smartphone and spoke in a booming voice: “New message from Sandra: ‘Hey you, what time do you get off later? Don’t you want to go out for dinner again? The other night was really great! Miss you, my boy!'” Frightened and coupled with the blush of shame and horror on his face, Peter looked at his doctor’s face. “Where?! How do you know that? Are you telepathic? Will you betray my trust with knowledge of my deepest, darkest secrets?”
Dr. Tic Watch’s face broke into a smile. “Don’t worry, your messages are safe with me. Everything that arrives on your smartphone, my assistant, Wear O.S. will inform me and forward all messages that are relevant to you. Concentrate on what is important. You may go now.” “Go?” Peter thought. How could he leave now, after the doctor had simply read his messages out and, without making any proper diagnosis, had given him a pulse reading that was apparently too high for his liking? With childlike defiance, Peter put both his hands on the chair which was just a few centimeters away from the doctor, who by now seemed a bit confused.
He would actually leave and never return. Peter would ask for a refund and request that any connection to him or his smartphone be reversed. Unexpectedly, the doctor’s hand, still wrapped in the glove, followed Peter’s movements without any resistance. “Now can you please … let go of me, damn it!”, Peter’s voice rose as he stared at the man. But Dr. Tic Watch just smiled back, followed his panicking eyes with his own, and remained silent. The patient was resigned to having Dr. Tic Watch be his ‘shadow’.
One of these people will wear their Doc on their wrist
On the street in front of the office, Peter’s thoughts went back to what happened in his encounter with the strange man. He looked forward to some relief during his medical appointment and had finally made the visit to the doctor, as his back pain haunted him daily, while thinking about his girlfriend in order to alleviate his pain somewhat. She was an extremely good cook though. Peter continued to think about his girlfriend and her cabbage rolls, in which he had often eaten as she made them exactly the way he likes it. “Very good, you have already taken 250 steps,” someone whispered into his ear after experiencing some tactile feedback on his left wrist. It was extremely strange for Peter that the doctor followed him into the street and now accompanied him to the café. He was afraid of the looks from other people in the café, who would surely judge the still very young couple with suspicion.
To his astonishment, there were no rude stares of skeptical looks.
Dr. Tic Watch was quite slim, he adapted to his movements like a duck to water, where Peter had forgotten that the doctor had wrapped his left wrist securely around his. First and foremost, he feared that he would be declared as a complete idiot of the city, but along the journey home, Peter discovered more and more people who were similarly joined together “hand-in-wrist” in a symbiosis relationship. He had never noticed that before. Talk about selective perception!
A few days passed and Peter had become one of them: One of those people who wore their doctor on their wrist. He gradually understood them, as he stumbled into their world as though he walked through a semi-transparent portal. These were mainly situations in which the use of a smartphone was inconvenient or at least not appreciated, in which he was happy to have the helpful doctor at his side. While driving his car, he informed the doctor about his next appointment and when he was once again motionless in his office chair for too long, Dr. Tic Watch would call him out so that he will get up and walk around.
Anyway, the doctor was a good companion when it came to sports. Peter noticed this, where he had also shed a few centimeters around the waist since going out with the good doctor. Although it took a while more to make the doctor figure out that Peter wanted to jog, Dr. Tic Watch managed to work that out eventually. From there, the doctor kept an eye on how many times his heart was beating per minute, how far did he jog, and which route that he picked. He recorded all of these for eternity and was not without his assistant. The doctor always worked together with his assistant, who prepared all the information and made it available to Peter digitally on his smartphone.
Rest periods? No chance!
In due time, Peter understood all that was advertised surrounding the doctor’s office proved to be true. In fact, the doctor helped him to integrate more exercise into his everyday life and ensured that he was a whole lot more efficient by reminding him of appointments without requiring him to look at his smartphone. Wearing a doctor on his wrist, Peter saw it as a good addition to his everyday life. However, even physicians do not always act according to their role’s expectations.
“Peter, I can write this message for you too!” “Peter, I have over 1,000 outfits to choose from! Contact Wear O.S. if you want to see them!” “Peter, I can also attend a training session, and then perhaps I can help you even more” – As the two got to know each other better over time, they became more familiar with one another. From the professional “he” became a friendly “you”, and this was where Peter crossed the line. Because in certain situations, he wanted to enjoy some peace and quiet for which he initially substituted his smartphone for the wrist helper.
This did not succeed in two aspects. Although the doctor was pretty much self-sufficient and worked independently, even recognizing his location as though it was magic, Peter still had to call upon a special application on his smartphone for a detailed view of all the collected data, which Wear O.S. fed regularly with new information. Peter did not quite manage to free himself from his dependence on the smartphone.
“We have been working together for four weeks now, dear Peter”, Dr. Tic Watch woke up his patient on the morning of the last day of treatment by making loud beeps. During the night, the professional doctor was immaculate in his professionalism as he rested on a chair next to the bed, leaving Peter free to sleep without any interruption. “Four weeks on, and I can tell you that your progress is very good. You have become more active, have learned to concentrate on the essentials more often, and now, I am giving you one last present.” Peter was feeling rather insecure, but was still a little glad to be able to spend the next few days alone again.
“From all the data we have collected over the past few weeks, I have had a watch made for you that will allow you to continue your treatment in the future,” Dr. Tic Watch had to suppress some tears of emotion as he uttered the next few words. “Your treatment in the future – will be without me!” “A…watch?” Peter asked. “Quite so. I have christened it the TicWatch Pro and have summarised our mutual experiences for you in the form of a prescription. Peter took the note and read: