Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What are the major medical advances of the past decade?

The past few decades have been a bit disappointing in terms of medical advances. Cancer is still a big problem, there's no cure for AIDS, and we somehow don't really understand how to help people lose weight.  But the DMCB argues that, while medical advances have been disappointing, there have been some major breakthroughs in health care delivery.  I would argue that a lot of these are closer to "potential" or "future" advances, and that some will not generate big changes. But this is a handy list and a fun look at how the health care sector will change going forward: 
1. Downjobbing: many tasks that were restricted to highly trained specialists are increasingly being performed by non-physicians, patients and technology.

2. Social Media: patients can not only access the internet for information, they can use the internet to pool input and solicit personalized advice from like-minded individuals

3. Democratized Artificial Intelligence: In addition to social media, we’re on the verge of being able to remotely access AI to generate a reasonably accurate list of diagnoses, suggested tests and recommended do-it-yourself treatments that include the option of doing nothing.

4. The Decline of the Credential: while the academic-industrial complex will continue to churn out superbly trained physicians, massive on-line education will enable persons to gain a surprising level of lay-expertise. 

9. Medical Tourism: As the rest of the globe imports the best that western medicine has to offer minus the United States’ overhead costs, the cost of overseas air travel is no longer be an impediment to patients or insurers.
The full list is here.  

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