There's also the burgeoning field of bionics, where electronics mimic biology to improve human capabilities. While elective and military improvements are inevitable, it could be said that medical applications, such as artificial organs and replacement limbs, will arguably be the most common in 2050. Nobody can see the future, but that won't stop us from trying. We asked UCSF professors and alumni to rate these predictions based on their probability and impact.
Miles Romney, co-founder and CTO of the telehealth company eVisit. Start by describing a hypothetical person's morning shower. The shower cabin will be equipped with a high-tech system, Romney says. With the help of an ocular or neurological implant interface, the system performs a CT scan of the entire body, while countless instruments thoroughly check various health parameters and personal vital signs, cataloguing and sending those details to the care team.
The daily data of the individual is analyzed in real time using artificial intelligence and validated by the suppliers. Then, a transdermal infuser offers a personalized cocktail with exactly what is needed: vitamins, relaxants, painkillers, beta-blockers, anxiolytics and TNF inhibitors. The shower begins and, as the hot water arrives, the positive effects are already felt. Romney spoke to Healthcare IT News about what he sees as the future of telehealth: when virtual care stops being virtual care, it will only be care.
The transition from patients to consumers is closely related to the adoption of telehealth in recent years, and to the adoption of other consumer-oriented health technologies, what the industry calls the consumerization of health care. This is an explicit recognition that people can now choose where to go for medical care and that they demand not only satisfactory results, but also high-quality experiences. As consumer voices strengthen and this sense of competition increases, the desire of health systems and insurance payers to adopt new tools and technologies will increase at the same time. They have two very compelling reasons for doing so: increasing patient outcomes and keeping patients within their networks, protecting and increasing their own margins.
Imagine waking up softly at 6 in the morning. You stand up and stretch out, you walk by the kitchen where you pick up the cup of coffee that is already waiting for you. You stare at the sunrise over the landscape that extends to your feet while you read some headlines carefully, not on a mobile device or on a hanging screen, but through the implant and its ocular, or perhaps neurological, interface. Then you walk to the bathroom, take off your pajamas and go into the shower.
However, before it starts to rain, you can hear the whirring of a full-body MRI and feel the gentle puncture of half a dozen instruments that collect samples and catalog vital signs. When the steam rises below you and the hot water comes out from above, you already feel like a new person. And when it's time to have a conversation, you'll have it: remotely, through video or virtual reality. Everything is at your fingertips, but you're only as aware of it as you want to be.
And when it does, the local health infrastructure will exist to treat it, because their care has been largely focused on it, informing and funding it. You don't have to take time off work to go to a medical center, there are no problems with parking, you don't have to struggle to schedule an appointment with five different doctors, lose laboratory orders and have to drive to the clinic to get a replacement, there are no accidental interactions between drugs or a decrease in the effectiveness of drugs due to the evolving chemistry itself. Many of your vital signs are continuously collected and monitored through the implant. Others come every day, when you get in the shower.
All of them flow in real time through AI and your flesh and blood care team with a frequency and granularity that would be the envy of any Ferrari mechanic. Your body will be, so to speak, a well-oiled machine. Everyone, everywhere, will have access to this care because economic conditions, standard of living, energy and resource efficiency, improvements in agriculture and manufacturing will continue on their current upward trajectory. Yes, an average doctor will see many more patients because she spends her time on things that only she can do (as opposed to the highly repetitive tasks that machines perform to support her and the care team).
However, a much larger percentage of the world's population will have direct access to their services. Therefore, the demand for your time will decrease on the one hand and increase on the other. Maybe this doctor from 2050 won't recognize you by sight. Maybe those relationships are less superficially personal.
But in the ways that matter (the knowledge you'll have of your holistic health and well-being) will be much, much greater. Innovators in health technology are creating it. And with democratized health care, with equal access to life and health, the sky is the limit. No, not even the sky will be the limit.
EMS program for children from the Health Resources and Services Administration. Patients will have full access to their medical records and many will have “expert systems” that will use their medical history data to help them lead a healthy lifestyle and manage their long-term conditions. Given the advances in cloud and mobile technology, the future of patient-controlled medical records is much more likely to be one in which patients keep their medical records on their smartphones or stored in the cloud, rather than being implanted. .