The widespread U.S. opioid & overdose crisis is an ever-increasing tragic concern for everyone: writhing victims, family members being fain to see their relatives suffer or die, doctors prescribing opioid pain-killers which they thought before as safe, and regulators imposed to handle a tough situation. Addiction. It’s painful to even read about the skyrocketing numbers of people suffering, thus we decided to map how digital health could help tackle the opioid crisis.
How do you live healthier with data? How do you get used to sensors and wearables? I receive plenty of questions after my keynotes about digital health; how it changes my life and how it could transform society in the future. A while ago, I was on stage in Lisbon, when someone asked me whether I think the use of health sensors might limit our freedom of choice. As it generated a discussion within The Medical Futurist team too, I decided to outline my position and the counter-arguments. Needless to say, I stood for technology not curbing our freedom in any way.
Artificial narrow intelligence (ANI) will most likely help healthcare move from traditional, „one-size-fits-all” medical solutions towards targeted treatments, personalized therapies, and uniquely composed drugs. In two words: precision medicine. However, before we let ANI take over the stage in healthcare, stakeholders should consider several ethical and legal issues.
Robots telling jokes and chatbots acting as life coaches sound astounding and terrifying at the same time. Extensive research is going on lately in the field of applying human features, emotions, gestures, and reactions to digital technology; and it raises thousands of questions. Could not only smart, but emotional algorithms or robots appear also in healthcare soon? Would there be a place or need for them? How would it impact the patient-doctor relationship or social interactions in general?
Digital technologies have completely transformed our lives in the last couple of years and started to entirely reshape the landscape of healthcare. Yet, this is only the beginning. Huge waves of changes are on their way. Thus, it is of utmost importance to familiarize with the latest technologies and trends in medicine to be able to prepare for the future in time. And while doing so, not to lose the quintessence of practicing medicine, the human touch. That’s the synopsis of the newest edition of my book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine.
Kids of the future will have artificial buddies, virtual reality teachers or robot nannies. Digital technologies are radically transforming the relationship between children. As I have a 6-months-old daughter, I decided to map how our future – mine as a father and hers – and the future of parenting could look like in the light of new innovations.
In the future of humankind, brain implants could improve our memory. Implanted magnets or RFID chips implanted in our fingers could replace passwords and keys. Exoskeletons could boost our strength, and augment a whole range of our human capabilities. So, it will never be more important to keep the features that make us human, such as empathy, creativity or the ability for change. It is not easy to find the right balance between technology and being human, though. Here, I enlisted real-life cyborgs who might show us positive examples how to do it.