Health technology will make our medicine cooler than Star Trek’s soon
Friday, April 11, 2014
Health technology is advancing so rapidly that within a decade the small handheld medical reader used by Dr. Leonard McCoy in Star Trek — the tricorder — will look primitive.
We are moving into an era of data-driven, crowdsourced, participatory, genomics-based medicine. Just as our bathroom scales give us instant readings of our weight, wearable devices will monitor our health and warn us when we are about to get sick. Our doctors — or their artificial intelligence replacements — will prescribe medicines or lifestyle changes based on our full medical history, holistic self, and genetic composition.
Not long ago, our only recourse when we doubted our doctor’s prescription was to seek a second opinion. Now when we need information about an ailment, we search on the Internet. We have access to more medical knowledge than our doctors used to have via their medical books and journals, and our information is more up-to-date than those medical books were. We can read about the latest medical advances anywhere in the world. We can visit online forums to learn from others with the same symptoms, provide each other with support, and discuss the side effects of our medicines. And we can download apps that help us manage our health.
- Health Care