Dr Mona Johnson says that working as a doctor has taught her that people – however much you may wish they would fit into neat algorithms – are always infuriatingly, delightfully messy.
Real people are “amorphous blobs of behaviours that blend and shape in all sorts of ways and, when you contain them with technology, they will colour outside the lines – because that’s how humans are."
Johnson, Deputy Clinical Director of Patient Safety at NHS Digital and a practicing GP, says: “I’ve spent ten years talking with patients. I know they don’t describe things in the way you would in a medical textbook. It would be easy to translate a textbook into an algorithm, but it would be useless because people just don’t behave that way.”