Technology Set to Change Healthcare

Trips to the doctor are going to change, for that matter we may not need to see a doctor, or at least a GP, more a counsellor, because tech is set to change healthcare, shifting it from being disease centric to preventative centric. 
For one thing, there is genome sequencing. Earlier this century it would have set you back a billion or so dollars to get your genome sequenced. Now it can be done for a few thousand dollars. It may not be so long before getting your genome sequenced is done on the NHS. From this information, doctors will get a feel for what diseases you are more susceptible to, what particular medications might work for you. It's a step towards an era of treating diseases before we get them, it's a step in the direction of personalised medicine.
Then there's wearable technology. So we wear a watch or a bracelet, or maybe in time we will have tiny devices in our blood steam, and we get a raft of health measurements, sent via the internet to our doctor, or health advisor.
Combine all this with big data and Artificial Intelligence, or AI. Genome sequencing, wearable tech and nano technology sensors will provide an extraordinary volume of data. Modern computers, with their superfast processors combined with AI can analyse this data.
Your doctor, or maybe your computer/AI guide, will be able to work with this data to produce a diagnosis at a speed and with a degree of reliability that is unprecedented.
A year or so back, Vinod Khosla, founder of Sun Microsystems, gave a speech in which he claimed that “technology may replace up to 80 per cent of what doctors do.”
Technology may create new roles for doctors as the old roles end. For one thing we may need counsellors, as too much information convinces us we are about to die.
But it is clear that the way we interact with our GP will change.
At the same time, advances in computer modelling the development of nano technology combined with greater understanding of our genetics and even in how to edit our DNA will transform the evolution of medicine. This is incredibly exciting.

Written by: Michael Baxter on May 9th 2016

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