I recently had the opportunity to participate in the Lake Nona Impact Forum held at Lake Nona, Orlando, Florida, USA. Lake Nona is being developed into a state of the art, futuristic health city; a residential recreational enclave with a cluster of medical education and innovation centers –http://www.lakenona.com/medical-city/ and in this forum, I had the opportunity to reflect with other healthcare professionals the future of healthcare.
I believe that our generation is truly blessed to be witnessing the greatest scientific and technological developments ever to happen in the history of mankind. Having had the chance to study, see and reflect on some of these developments, I have listed my predictions for Health Care in 2030. It is very obvious that there is going to be a paradigm shift in the way we deliver health care in the future, and some of these have already started happening.
In my view, healthcare is going to shift in the following ways:
1. From Illness to Wellness
2. From Hospital care to Home care
3. From Primary clinics to E-Clinics where a robot will check you up instead of a doctor
4. From conventional capture of vital parameters and lab checks to Smart devices, either implanted or attached to the skin or mucus membranes, which monitor and transmit data to computers. This data is utilized on a real time basis, with the help of artificial intelligence to interpret and inform doctors. At times, based on preprogrammed recommendations, it will suggest appropriate remedial measures.
5. From conventional pharmaceutical medications to Pharmacogenomic therapy, this is based on the individual’s genomic characteristics with nano delivery systems for drugs to target individual sites/organs or cells.
6. From absolute despair for people with serious genetic diseases to an early detection and complete cure through genetic modification or gene therapy and transfer.
7. From conventional organ donations to growing organs in the labs using stem cells and tissue engineering techniques and 3D printing of the exoskeleton of these organs.
8. From a regular doctor check up to the Doctor telling you how long you might live, vide a simple test to check your telomeres which will predict your life span. By the way it is estimated that life span could be close to a whopping 150 years in a few decades from now.
9. From regular surgeries to remove, fix or replace an organ to Injection of stem cells or genetic transfer through vectors to self heal. Even if a surgery is inevitable your surgeon could be miles away directing a robot to do the job.
If you think this is my flight of fancy, please read this article again in 2030 (I am sure, most of you will still be there to do this) and get back to me. If you by now feel doctors will become obsolete, don’t you worry, we will be the ones directing the computers and artificial intelligence for wellness rather than treat illness.
God Bless us all!
Dr. H Sudarshan Ballal, MD, FRCP (London)
Chairman – Med Adv Board & Medical Director – MHEPL,
Manipal Hospitals, 98, HAL Airport Road, Bangalore-560017
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are of the writer and not of the hospital.