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The 21st Century in Medicine: What will it look like?

Jeffrey Dach used one of my recent posts (Personalized Medicine: Real Clinical Examples!) as a reference in his article describing the future of medicine. It’s a quite detailed and comprehensive essay about several fields of medicine and he doesn’t forget to mention personalized medicine and its impact on the future of healthcare:

Personalized Medicine is the combination of these two new powerful forces, Orthomolecular Medicine and Genetic Testing. In the future, Personalized Medicine will expand and ultimately play a dominant role in medicine. Example: Warfarin Genetic Testing allows improved calibration of coumadin dosage to avoid bleeding complications. Drug metabolism testing allows for personal modification of drug dosage.

Orthomolecular and personalized medicine together?

We will be able to sequence the entire genome of an individual human in milliseconds. The cost will be minimal and within the means of the average person.

Individuals will have ability to reprogram our own sperm and eggs. One will be able to buy new genes on the internet based on desired traits and features, and use these genes to make one’s own children as easily as buying a copy of Microsoft office.

My comment: If the government gets involved, then this sounds a lot like Aldous Huxley’s, Brave New World.

Example of this new biotechnology: Human genes are inserted into microbes to make insulin. We will see a dramatic increase in gene therapies and treatments.

Well, I think and hope many of these will never come true, but it’s interesting to see how others predict the future. This fantastic video tries to show us some plans and projects that can really shape this century:

If you would like to know more about the future,

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Well, according to the Georgia Guidestones, humanity will be maintained under 500 million in perpetual balance with nature, and reproduction will be “guided wisely” with a focus on fitness and diversity.

    Sounds like a good time, doesn’t it?

    May 12, 2008
  2. Personalized medicine and personalized drugs seems to be the Holy Grail. I hope these things may be achived in the NEAR future.

    May 12, 2008
  3. DR #

    If knowledge is power, the more we know about the human body, the better off we will be in diagnosing or preventing dis-ease.

    Not to rain on the genetic parade, but the current research in epigentics is stealing some of DNAs thunder as the holy grail of biological research.

    To the layperson, it’s not a competition, but to the scientists?

    I hope that the dogma inherent in modern biology doesn’t close its’ collective eyes to results that they don’t want to see.

    Just the opinion of a layperson

    May 13, 2008
  4. artclecticacademic #

    I agree that personalized medicine is a long shot. We can’t even take care of the millions of uninsured we currently have in this country. The individualized ethic that has ruled capitalist economies applies uniquely to healthcare, but much of the world is moving toward more community-based therapies, and I don’t just mean socializing the system.

    May 13, 2008
  5. Leroy Glinchy #

    The uninsured in the US is just a reflection of the fact that our expectations for what medicine should be and what we have resources for are different. It is possible to keep people alive long after their bodies have broken down to the point where living is no fun for them nor for their relatives. Yet, there are religious, moral, and guilt induced reasons for keeping them alive. On the other hand, there is not prevention for the most basic diseases in America such as obesity which is leading to diabetes and heart disease.

    It seems as if by not planning things out in a sensible manner and letting things go willy nilly, we are running a system that is efficient for creating and maintaining suffering in humans.

    Things are going to get worse after things get worse. One of the things we don’t think of when we think of medicine:

    1. It’s very environmentally unfriendly. Things come in millions of plastic packaging that gets tossed into a landfill which will remain plastic basically forever on a human scale.

    2. The entire medical system is based on oil! Oil is going away and will never come back. We will never have such a versatile material for making medical tools such as plastic. Yet we are burning it so we can drive oversized vehicles to impress our neighbors. Ironically, these vehicles are creating pollution that results in massive childhood asthma.

    In the future, we’ll have less resources to treat disease. Yet, people keep going on creating these pipe dreams of how medicine is going to be assuming we have unlimited energy to do all this stuff.

    In reality there’s not enough energy to go around right now. I wonder who will be blamed for this mess.

    My guess is that environmentalists and bicyclists will somehow get the brunt of the anger.

    May 14, 2008

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