Developing drugs and therapies is very expensive. Even diagnostics can cost a lot to develop, test and deploy. Not only that, but people are still ignoring their doctor’s advice and still avoid routine check ups. Younger people though are better informed and have started adopting healthy habits in many ways. The next generations I think, will be better informed and may get to live longer because of that. Not only that but they will have new innovations in the field of medicine that will allow them to do so much more easily. Here I describe some of them that will come from data analysis and machine learning technologies.
- Genetic Data.
People nowadays have the option to sequence some genes for a relatively low price. As competition increases in this market with companies like 23andMe, prices will go down and innovations will allow people to do more. I think that in the next 10 if not 5 years people will have the option to sequence their whole genome and get it analyzed for a reasonable price.
- Smart Watches.
Apple released a new smart watch that has improved sensors that can detect cardiac activity and potentially predict atrial fibrillation. Heart rate monitors have become mainstream and are present in many wearable gadgets. In the future it is very possible to see sensors that can detect and measure many more aspects of human health in a non invasive way.
- Digital Life.
We live more and more in a digital environment. I am not going to argue whether that’s good or bad. But, this means that the services we use get a lot of data about us. Your Apple or Google account may have data about how many steps you take, how your heart rate responds to that, diet, anxiety based on searches and a lot more. A good enough algorithm will be capable of detecting problems based on such parameters and give you helpful information.
- Personal dedicated medical devices.
Young people may be willing to invest in devices that they keep at home and use them to do routine tests either through blood or saliva samples. They would be able to perform important medical tests monthly at home without stressing about doctor appointments and huge medical fees. The information from such devices could feed into an algorithm and together with other data, you phone could predict disease, nutrient deficiencies and more.
Of course all that would require a lot of testing and a lot of development. It will not be cheap at first. And not all people will find those solutions appealing. But younger people may understand and enjoy solutions like this, that help them live longer and healthier without spending a lot of time stressing about it.
Image: By Tucania – Medical imaging software, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36808161