Does The Future Of Health Is Bright?
How do you feel about your health? The way you answer that question depends, of course, on how good (or bad) your current state of health happens to be, but also on what you think the future of health holds in store. Is the future of health bleak or bright? Will people get sick less often and recover faster if something does go wrong? Or will they just have more high-tech ways to do the same old thing? In this blog post, we’ll look at six facts about the future of health that might surprise you.
Your health is extremely important to you, and it’s also important to anyone in your life who cares about you – your family, friends, and your community at large. But how often do you really stop to think about what the future of health will look like? Or better yet, how often do you stop to think about how that future can be improved? If you’re looking for some answers to those questions, here are six surprising facts about the future of health.
1) Electronic Medical Records
When you visit a doctor, your entire health history is usually in front of her. She has access to every previous test result, every medication prescribed and more. Unfortunately, most doctors don’t use their records to help patients improve their overall health; instead, they often rely on handwritten notes or memory. Electronic medical records are changing that. Doctors can now have their own private practice records at home on their computers, tablets or smartphones—which means they always have access to them and can easily track how well each patient is progressing with treatments (or not). By allowing patients direct access to their EMRs, they also gain insight into what’s been happening with their own health outside of doctor visits and can work with doctors to get better faster.
2) Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is going to shake up healthcare, for sure. Experts predict that within two decades, AI-driven programs will work side by side with health care professionals to provide personalized care. A medical student told me recently she thought her generation would see these changes in their lifetimes. I’m not so sure… But if you’re reading in 2040 or so, let me know!
3) Precision Medicine
Only a few years ago, a diagnosis would be something patients would get once and it might stay with them for life. But with advancements in technology, doctors are making much more frequent diagnoses and adjusting prescriptions accordingly. Many patients won’t even see their doctor on an annual basis anymore; instead, they’ll connect online as needed to keep track of how they’re doing and what they should be taking next. Patients will likely become active participants in their own healthcare.
4) Personalized Health
Doctors today rely heavily on tests to diagnose and treat patients. However, our bodies are made up of cells—millions upon millions of them. Doctors can’t possibly test all these cells individually, but scientists are developing technology that may allow doctors to target specific cells based on their DNA profiles. This personalized medicine is set to revolutionize health care. Some medical professionals predict that genetic testing will be as ubiquitous as Google search results in just a few years.
5) Internet-Connected Health Devices
The evolution of health wearables will continue in 2014, as products like smartphones and fitness monitors get more advanced. This year, wearables will start connecting to internet-enabled devices such as televisions, thermostats and even cars. This type of technology is just one example of how our homes are becoming smart homes and could ultimately improve our health.
6) Prevention & Wellness
While primary care physicians are always going to be important, it’s encouraging to see a shift toward preventative healthcare with health coaches and fitness trackers. With statistics showing that over half of all American adults are obese, it seems clear that more focus on prevention is a good thing.