There was a time when malaria was a deadly disease, but not anymore. There was a time when measles was a death sentence, but not anymore. There was a time when losing a limb meant you had to learn to do everything with the other limb. But not anymore. There was a time when the biggest obstacle of medicine was getting rid of polio. But not anymore.
Decade after decade, we experience breakthroughs in the healthcare sector, helping to keep us alive and well. Sicknesses and diseases that might have killed us decades ago are now trivial today. This, on its own, is an impressive achievement.
Where We Are Now
However, there is still a long way to go. The more illnesses we conquer, the more others rear their ugly heads. Some of the biggest healthcare problems of our time now include the battle against cancer, brain diseases, and heart diseases. Thanks to comprehensive health insurance schemes such as Medicare, medical bills are no longer impossible to cater to for the average individual.
But if there is anything that is pretty certain, it is that cancer, and the other diseases, would soon be the simple headache of the future. They would no longer trouble us. And talking about the future, here are some healthcare predictions for the future.
1. Seamless Connection Between Doctors And Their Patients
The way the healthcare system is at the moment, sick people would have to physically go to a brick and mortar hospital to get a doctor or a medical practitioner to check them out.
On getting there, the medical practitioner would carry out a series of tests and scans to find out what is wrong with the patient before prescribing solutions. These processes take time, and the time taken alone could be the telling difference between life and death for many.
The future holds something better for us, however. Imagine a future where patients can track their health themselves before going to the hospital. This way, they could monitor and keep in check whatever could lead to illnesses for them.
Imagine a future where patients are equipped with tools that already check their vitals and run other scans. They then transmit the results of the scans to the doctors, who then prescribe drugs that are delivered to the doorsteps of the patient.
That is the kind of future that awaits us.
2. The Use Of Technology To Assist The Elderly And The Disabled
The elderly require a lot of care. The longer they live, the more dependent they get on the people around them. This wouldn’t be a problem if the people the elderly depended on didn’t have their own lives to live, but that is not the case. So, what does the future hold for us?
Before we take a massive leap into what the future holds, companion robots are already being manufactured. You can communicate with these robots. They can make their way around the obstacles in a room without knocking anything off.
These robots can carry out simple tasks like fetching the remote control, or your glasses, or even make you some coffee. And in emergencies, these robots can reach out to the outside world for help.
The companion robot technology is already breathtaking, but the future holds much more. Imagine a future where these robots can help the elderly get out of bed or make them something more complex than coffee (say, their favorite pie).
These robots would not be scarce as they are today, but be so abundant that almost anyone could afford them.
In this aspect, it is safe to say that the future has already begun.
3. Cancer Is No Longer Terminal
Cancer has claimed the lives of many of our loved ones. And one of the trump cards of this devastating sickness is that it evades early discovery adeptly. Only in rare cases does one discover cancerous cells in the body before they grow enough to cause damage to the body and threaten the lives of the patients. But there would be nowhere for cancerous cells to hide anymore in the future.
Already, professionals in the healthcare system have started exploring how to use immunotherapy drugs to battle the sickness. What these drugs do is that they search and locate cancerous growths in the body before they multiply enough to cause any harm. The body then sends its defenses to destroy these cancerous cells immediately.
Also, a lot of research is being carried out in discovering signals of cancer in the blood. However, this information can only come from advanced and detailed analysis of the blood. Breakthroughs are bound to happen in the future, and then, the chances of surviving cancer would leap.
At that time, cancer would not be terminal anymore. People would go to the hospital to get their cancer treated without having to resort to chemotherapy or any other treatments that have unpleasant side effects.
4. Diabetes Would Be Rendered Powerless
In this aspect, the future is very near. Nearer than you can imagine. There are two types of diabetes; Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 occurs when the body sends the immune system to fight against the pancreas.
This happens when the body loses control of the glucose levels in the blood. Type 1 diabetes happens less frequently than Type 2 diabetes, where the body can no longer respond to insulin nor control the glucose level in the blood.
To battle Type 1 diabetes, there is already a lot of research to make an artificial pancreas. This pancreas would be immune to the attacks from the immune system, and it will also do every other thing that a natural pancreas does. This technology is very close to its breakthrough already. A lot of research is already underway to conquer Type 2 diabetes as well.
One of the future solutions to diabetes is stem therapy, which includes the laboratory production of the cells that are normally attacked by the immune system of a diabetic patient (Beta cells). And after the production, they are transferred into the body of the patient where they replace their dead counterparts.
5. No More Shortage Of Medical Care Providers
One problem in the healthcare system is the shortage of medical care providers. This puts a lot of work pressure on those that we already have now. The medical care providers are already trying their best, but there is a limit to what they can do. And they are humans too. They experience fatigue.
So, what solution does the future have in store for us? One of the many solutions is the use of robots to handle less trivial matters. Not all the issues that our medical care providers attend to are delicate and life-sensitive. With robots that can take care of these less important tasks, this frees up more time for the practitioners to do what they do best.
Another solution is to train robots to assist with important tasks. This way, a robot can be in the surgery room with a surgeon and act as their assistant, or even their partner.
The Bottom Line
Although many of these ideas only reside in our imaginations and science fiction books and movies, they are not far from coming to be in our real world. The thoughts of that alone brings cheerful smiles to many faces.