Medical Technology Summary Trends

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Medical Technology Summary

  • Average life spans will reach to beyond 100. (Forever Young)

    • Slowing or stopping the aging process is achievable. (Forever Young)

    • Ageing will be given attention just as diseases are so that problems associated with age can be cured (Worzel)

  • Most diseases, including cancer, will be beaten by 2030 to 2040. (Forever Young)

    • Non-infectious diseases like diabetes mostly cured or treatable with single treatment (Worzel)

  • Pharmaceutical industry is changed (Worzel)

    • Drug and treatment prices negotiated between computers-humans only involved if significant disagreements (Worzel)

  • Most organs will soon be manufactured and sold at “parts stores” for replacements and transplants, but regeneration of organs will be tried before transplantation is done. (Gilleo)

    • By 2050 we will have learned how to grow organs on “body farms” for transplants (Gilleo)

    • By 2040 blindness will be treated by using photo-electronic implantable retinas or complete bionic eyes. But by 2050 “harvested” eyes will take the place of manufactured ones. (Gilleo)

  • Brain downloads possible by 2050. (“Brain Downloads…”)

  • Future of medicine about business intelligence, wireless computers, X-Rays, and MRIs (Greengard)

  • Primary care physicians will use a “Facebook-like platform” that makes use of IM, video chat, etc. to cut down on office visits. To make an appointment, the patient would look at the doctor’s schedule, select a time slot, and fill out a text box describing the ailment so the doctor can be thinking about treatment. Most follow up visits would be done virtually. Doctors using the platform will set their own fees, and the platform company will take a monetary cut of each transaction. (Salter)

  • More health insurance companies are beginning to cover e-visits. (Salter)

  • Virtual medical practice will help to spread access to specialists from large cities into more rural areas. (Salter)

  • Advancements in genetic research will provide cures for thousands of hereditary diseases, cancers and AIDS. (Cetron)

  • By 2020 biomedicine will have solved many medical mysteries, such as our need for sleep. Cancer, Parkinson’s Alzheimer’s and many mental illnesses will be under control. Drugs to improve memory and concentration will have been developed. (Cetron)

  • The cost of health care will rapidly increase, and so will shortages of medical personnel. (Cetron)

  • Long range preventive medicine and early preemptive intervention will become essential health care strategies. (Gilleo)

  • The patient will be examined from the inside out rather than vice versa. (Gilleo)

  • Electropharma (electro biochemistry), modifying body chemistry without drugs, will be used by 2025 for everything including tissue and organ regeneration, the stimulation of natural antibodies, elimination of pain and sleep problems, improvement of eyesight and even mood control. (Gilleo)

  • Body genetic reprogramming as well as baby modifications will become popular. Gene swapping will become a big business, though it will be frowned upon. (Gilleo)

  • Personal robots as caregivers will be common. (Gilleo)

  • Some experts believe that death could be conquered by the 2040s. Because of advances in creating non-biological organs and body parts, and the ability of connect the brain to a computer by 2030, most people will opt for a completely non-biological body by 2040. Even if this body were destroyed by an accident, nanotechnology would create a new body instantly and retrieve our minds and memories. (FutureBlogger)

  • We will be able to improve our bodies by altering them to be superhuman with enhanced senses, bionic implants for extreme strength and artificial immune systems. (Future for All)

  • We will be able to implant animal genes in our bodies for health and to cure illnesses. (Future for All)

  • Women will have the option of “growing” their babies in man-made bubble-shaped wombs to avoid the stress of pregnancy and childbirth. (Future for All)

Health Information

  • Computer chips embedded in your body will give instant access to your medical history. (Kowalski)

    • Computers able to decode genomes (Worzel)

    • Collects real-time information on health conditions (Worzel)

    • Body-Bots (or miniscule robotic chips) will be injected into our bodies. These will be programmed to perform regular maintenance (yearly flu immunizations, artery clearing, etc.) and the software will have automatic wireless updates. Most will run for 100 years using power from blood-borne nutrients. No batteries needed! Of course, the software in them could develop viruses or even be taken over by terrorists. (Gilleo)

  • Continuation of electronic medical records (Greengard)

  • There will be a global computer with health information able to deliver relevant to disease and epidemics (Worzel)

    • States collect real-time health information about their citizens, remove names for privacy, and send information along to national computer databases.

    • National computers are part of a global network (Leaffer & Mickelberg, 56)

    • Continued empowerment through access to medical and health information (Leaffer & Mickelberg, 53)

    • More efficient data centers (Greengard, 42)

  • National computer agents “health-bots” use information to look for trends, new diseases, etc. (Worzel)

  • RFID patient tagging (Greengard, 39)

  • Doctors will use software to diagnose patients by entering in the symptoms. The software will produce likely ailments with the probability for each. (Salter)

  • Gene decoding will tell when and where a “programmed break” in a patient’s body will occur decades before it comes to a head. This will allow physicians to fix the problem before it happens. (Gilleo)

Practicing Medicine

  • Surgery without incisions (Kowalski)

    • Remote controlled robots will perform surgery and medical procedures. One day you may be able to swallow a robot to correct your digestion! (Kowalski) (Mironov, 21) (“Advances in…”)

  • Pumps will replace damaged hearts. New models that will never wear out are currently being developed. (Kowalski)

  • Nanomachines will deliver drugs directly to the needed area of the body. (Kowalski)

  • Merging of medicine and microchip (Gottlieb, 84)

    • Diagnoses from a molecular level, not symptoms (Gottlieb, 79)

    • Biochips will be injected into the bloodstream to deliver drugs, screen for cancer and send back ultrasound images (Gilleo)

  • Implementation of bioprinting in next 20 years (Mironov, 21)

    • Bioprinting is a prototyping process with patterning and layering or living and nonliving tissues

  • Gene scans will decide what sorts of medications are appropriate for each individual. This field is called “pharmacogenetics.” (Kowalski)

    • Use of gene chips to isolate strands of DNA (Gottlieb, 80)

    • Genetic medicine-tailoring treatments/therapies to patients (Gottlieb, 83)

  • Tele-doctors will take the place of hospitals. Even people with life-threatening illnesses will stay at home with robots sending their vital signs through internet or mobile phone back to a care center, which will dispatch help and even perform remote medical intervention in case of an emergency (Gilleo)

  • Bioelectronics will be used to modify body chemistry without external drugs. We will use this method to eliminate pain, stimulate tissue and organ regeneration, improve eyesight, help us fall asleep and wake up more easily (Gilleo)

    • Biomaterial research, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine will increase in the future (“Advances in…”)

  • Human strength augmentation technologies possible (Global Trends, 49)

  • Individualized drug treatment options (Gottlieb, 79)

    • Design of smarter, more intuitive drugs (Gottlieb, 82-83)

  • Nanotechnology to be used in the future: (“Advances in…”)

    • lasers for identifying proteins in the cell membrane

    • nanosensors to determine cell potassium and protein levels

    • biosensors to detect cancer

    • atomic force microscopes that enable materials to be handled on a nanometer or nanonewton scale

  • Improved patient monitoring systems (“Advances in…”)

  • Medical checkups at home (“Advances in…”)

    • Remote diagnosis (Andrews)

  • “Smart beds” that transmit information on patient vitals (Andrews)

  • Flat screen tv mounted in rooms and display medical workers name and title upon entry into the room (Andrews)

  • Traditional nurses stations replaced by station outside room more conducive to checking on patients (Andrews)

  • Customizable hospital rooms to adapt with patients’ changing condition (Andrews)

  • Treating patients online will help doctors manage their time, lists of patients, prescription refills. They will also be able to create lists of patients by condition, and e-mail them as a group with new treatment options. (Salter)

  • Complete DNA coding will be available via chip by 2035. Hereditary problems can be identified and corrected in minutes with “pharmacy on a chip” technology. (Gilleo)

  • By 2045 we will be able to produce gene-specific drugs to treat an illness even if only one person on the planet has it. (Gilleo)

  • Lab-on-a-Chip will test small amounts of body fluids in seconds. In fact, entire medical labs will be put on a chip, making them available anywhere, even at home. (Gilleo)

Andrews, Michelle. "The Hospital of the Future." U.S. News & World Report 146.7 (2009): 68. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 22 June 2011.
“Advances in Medical Technology: What Does The Future Hold?” ScienceDaily. 16 June 2009. Web. 21 June 2011, from­ /releases/2009/06/090616080133.htm
“Brain downloads 'possible by 2050'.” 23 May 2005. Web. 26 May 2011.
Cetron, Marvin J. and Owen Davies. “Trends Shaping Tomorrow’s World: Forces in the Natural and Institutional Environments.” The Futurist. July/August, 2010, p.38.
“Forever Young”. PC Magazine. Vol. 25, Issue 13. 8 Aug 2006. Web. 24 May 2011.
Future Blogger. “Experts believe death could be conquered by the 2040s”

Future for All. “The Future of Medicine.”

Gilleo, Ken. “The Sci-Fi Future of Medicine … the Next 50 Years.” Web. 26 May 2011.
Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World. US Government Printing Office. November 2008. eBook. 1 June 2011.
Gottlieb, Scott. “The Future of Medical Technology.” The New Atlantis: A journal of Technology &n Society. Spring 2003. Web. 21 June 2011.
Greengard, Samuel. "A Healthy Tech Future." Baseline 103 (2010): 38. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 22 June 2011.
Kowalski, Kathiann M. “What’s in your Medical Future?” Current Health. Vol. 35, Issue 5. 2 Jan 2009. Web. 24 May 2011.
Leaffer, Thelma, and Larry Mickelberg. "The Digital Health-Care Revolution: Empowering Health Consumers." Futurist 40.3 (2006): 53. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 25 May 2011.
Mironov, Vladimir. "The Future of Medicine: Are Custom-Printed Organs on the Horizon?." Futurist 45.1 (2011): 21. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 25 May 2011.
Salter, Chuck. “The Doctor of the Future.” Fast Company, May2009, Issue 135, p64-70.
Worzel, Richard. “Health Care to the Year 2035.” March 2010 Web. 19 May 2011.

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