Dear John, You Have Psoriasis

Why Your Medical Diagnosis May Soon Be Handled by Mail

As an inventor, I place a lot of weight on understanding the words I use to describe the problem I am addressing. For example, in medicine, the word patient is from the Latin patiens, meaning to suffer or long endure. It’s a word with both social and moral implications, and it reflects our fundamental approach to medicine: we wait until you have a complaint, and then we try to treat it.

Still, everyone agrees that it’d be better if medicine prevented the illness in the first place, or at least detected …