Science fiction is the bridge between what we envision for the far future and what we see in practice today. By showing us the possible dream worlds or living hells, such works of art touch upon the most relevant moral, ethical, social or political issues linked to technological progress.
We have no idea what the rapid technological development, the so-called fourth industrial revolution will bring upon us in the next decades. There is only one certainty: we will need a new set of skills to find our place in the future.
Terrorism is and will always be out there as we do not live in a world depicted in the movie Minority Report where crimes can be prevented by foreseeing them. We cannot and we do not want to supervise people’s lives as that would be the death of privacy. Also, disruptive technologies not only enhance […]
There are truly heartwarming stories of digital health technology saving lives or helping patients live better.
As a geneticist, talking with George Church or the President of the Personalized Medicine Coalition was a fascinating experience while writing my recently published book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine. This is still one of the most promising fields of medicine but without getting it closer to the general public, genomics will never play a pivotal role in practicing medicine.
Although the area of genomics has not been developing at an exponential rate that experts expected when the Human Genome Project was announced to be completed, more and more ways of potential use of genomic data in medicine have showed how it might transform our lives. A few months ago, it was published that so-called “genetic mugshots” can be recreated from DNA. By only using a person’s DNA, a face can be generated which sounds like pure science fiction.
Now researchers at Oxford University have developed a computer program that can diagnose rare genetic disorders in children simply by analyzing family photos.
One day we might be able to sequence the genomes of newborns immediately after birth (or even before) to tell parents what major conditions the child might have to deal with in the future. As an additional feature, children without genomic sequences made available could get an instant diagnosis only by looking into the camera of a computer using this algorithm.
An excerpt about how it works:
The program works by recognising certain characteristic facial structures that can be present with certain conditions, including Down’s syndrome, Teacher Collins, Progeria, Fragile X and Angelman syndrome. It combines computer vision and machine learning to scan pictures for similarities to a database of pictures of people with known conditions, and then returns matches ranked by likelihood.
I was invited to write an article about 10 ways technology will save our lives in the future for CNN.com and I was happy to do so. It was featured today on the main page of CNN. I hope you will find it useful. Here is the introduction:
The medical and healthcare sectors are in the midst of rapid change, and it can be difficult to see which new technologies will have a long-lasting impact.
Ideally, the future of healthcare will balance innovative medical technologies with the human touch. Here, I’ve outlined the trends most likely to change our lives, now or in the near future.