Our Bodies Our Selves: The Future of Medicine 2020–2050
Take part in a fascinating rapid-fire journey through the looming revolutions in healthcare. The medical future is now, as information technology and improved imaging systems push the frontiers of prevention and cure on all fronts:
Portable sensors at home and multi-functional radiology in hospitals for detecting symptoms; ‘augmented reality’ apps enabling surgeons to see through anatomical structures prior to intervention; optogenetic uses of light to control cells in living tissue; 3D-printing of living cells and organs; genomic medicine to provide personalised DNA analysis at the patient’s bedside…
Diagnosis is being transformed by artificial intelligence. IBM Watson can read 200 million pages of text in 3 seconds and suggest appropriate therapies, while other programs can mine the data of medical records on a comparable scale. Computer-simulated clinical trials will bypass long and expensive procedures by using microchips to model human cells or organs; and remote audience participation in operating theatres will revolutionize the way medicine is taught.
On the patient’s side, the crowdsourcing of medical information and communication through social media augurs an era of universal access, just as 3D-printed drugs will transform the pharmaceutical industry and its monopolies of regulation and control. All of which suggests new ways for delivering health care in countries struggling to contain escalating costs.
The new mantra of public health will be to ensure populations live long but die fast, and the further frontiers combine science and fiction: uploading our minds onto a computer so as to exist posthumously in digital form, enhancing our lives by implanting recreational cyborgs: the eyesight of an eagle, the hearing of a bat… what kind of body would you like?
A group of expert communicators who are also authorities in their field will offer their fifteen-minute vision of the medical utopias – and dystopias? – which are now in our sights if not in our grasp.
Take part in a fascinating rapid- fire journey through the looming revolutions in healthcare.