Medicine is one of those paradoxical industries that is uroboric at its basis. This means that by existing, it seeks its own dissolution. In an ideal world, there would be no need for medicine, as humans would live forever without any kind of disease or ailment.
Yet, until we reach that day, Medicine is more important than ever, especially in our overpopulated world where illness can be so easily transferred between individuals.
In this article, we discuss 3 emerging trends that will influence the future of medicine, emphasizing remote, self-healing modalities over traditional forms of healthcare.
Emphasis on Diet
Hippocrates, an Ancient Greek Physician, is famous for advising to “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.
We think the future of medicine entails a restoration of ancient values, specifically oriented around a sacred valorization and ritualization of food. In many ancient cultures, certain foods like herbs, teas, and even chocolate were the basis for healing ceremonies or religious events. Diet was nowhere near as marginal to daily life as it is now, where people are often seen chomping down on a sandwich while driving through traffic.
You can already see a resurgence in interest concerning healing through foods within the many dietary fads that have been introduced in the past 30 years. Some of these include the Paleo Diet, the Ketogenic Diet, vegan diets, and even fruitarian diets that involve only eating fruits.
In addition, science has begun to discover the underlying connection between gut health and brain health, noting that the bacteria that populate our gastrointestinal tract can regulate our serotonin levels, which influences our happiness. The future of medicine will leverage findings like these to better tailor care to patients.
Portable devices like the smartphones and smartwatches are already seemingly ubiquitous. The next step is to make these electronics even smaller, more efficient, and more customizable, becoming an extension of our unique existence.
Part of our existence is concerned with self-preservation, and so one future development involving portable technology will involve the maintenance of our health. We are already beginning to see these developments in the popularity of various exercise apps, nutritional trackers, and heart rate monitors that are available on our devices.
We think the next step involves the integration of hardware into our bodies, most specifically our brains. This hardware would be able to monitor the various systems of our body, collecting data and providing feedback whenever we desire.
This would also completely alter the healthcare field, as less speculation would be necessary for diagnosis. Instead, all the data would be easily available via cloud storage. In fact, if our hardware became advanced enough, we might not even need formal healthcare anymore, as preventative measures would be taken either voluntarily or through the artificial intelligence of our personal devices.
We think the future of healthcare is going to entail a movement away from face-to-face meetings between patients and doctors. These inconvenient and often ineffective forms of care will be replaced by online sessions mediated by the internet.
This will allow patients to access instant care if they need and will also facilitate preventative solutions due to its convenience and flexibility. Why drive 15 minutes to a hospital, spend 30 minutes filling out paperwork, and wait 2 hours to see a nurse when you can live chat with a pulmonary specialist?
While this is already a reality, with companies like CareClix offering online consultations, the process could still be more thorough and comprehensive. We can imagine a future where you can not only connect with a doctor online, but the doctor can use the medium of the internet to check your vital signs, perform tests, and even check your bloodwork. All that would be required is technological advancements in the hardware and software of computers.
This development would also allow for a number of new remote healthcare jobs, which would create an entirely new industry for people who wish to be self-employed. While you can already see these developments in fields like online health coaching, just imagine how much this will change when you can check your client’s pulse over the internet.
Our Final Thoughts on the Future of Medicine
We think a crucial shift is on the horizon for medicine and it entails an empowering of the patient. We think that better systems for dispersing information will help educate people to recognize their own symptoms. This will make people more proactive in solving their own health problems.
Yet, this doesn’t mean that doctors will no longer be necessary, only that technology will enable anyone with the proper hardware and software to be a doctor. Hospitals will likely be minimized as patients will seek support online, and if a surgery happens to be necessary, then we will be able to perform it on ourselves using our electronics.
In this sense, self-healing is the future of medicine, and it will take place through foods, portable technology, and remote healthcare.