What will medicine look like in 2030?Technologies That Can Ensure a Brighter Future For Humanity

2 Dec, 2021
05:30 min read

Medicine has always been a combination of the natural human factor and the external addendum in the form of extracts, compounds, and tools. Given the nature of human physiology and biology that remain sealed to the naked eye and largely inaccessible to the diagnosing mind without the application of external methodologies and technologies, the development of medical tools was a natural consequence.

In an effort to uncover the mystery of the human body and discover the treatments to various ailments, centuries of medical progress have resulted in the invention of countless medical instruments and scientific works. Starting from its now-archaic and humble beginnings, medicine has always been supported by technologies developed under the ideological, religious and scientific influence of the various epochs and regions.

Ernst Ruska and Max Knoll developing the first electron microscope

With Ibn Sina’s revolutionary polymath approaches to the development of the microscope in the 16–17th century, medicine has always struggled to find correlations and substance in ailments. A breakthrough in understanding the concept of microbiology came in the 18th century with the development of the first vaccines. But it was the 19th century that heralded an entirely new era in medical science with the invention of anesthesia, antibiotics, and much more. The 20th century picked up the mantle with the groundbreaking introduction of X-rays, fundamental breakthroughs in genetics, microbiology, pharmacology, and a slew of other fields that exploded in development paces and ushered in the age of 21st century medicine.

The instruments applied in medicine make it beneficial and crucial in saving lives, allowing doctors to rely on hardware based on science, rather than obscurantism and herbalism that bore as many chances of harming the patient as it did of alleviating some degree of pain or discomfort. Only technologies like the EKG, Da Vinci Surgical System, the defibrillator and the supporting infrastructure and software are capable of maintaining sustainable medical scientific development and the increase in the quality of human life, as well as longevity rates.

Modern medicine and medical examinations are becoming more accessible to people with the decrease in overhead costs and the introduction of the economy of scales, which makes the spread and adoption of new medical instruments. The automation and mass proliferation of medical systems for personal use is of vital importance in systematizing the data flow and analysis of individual patients to streamline doctors’ workflows and simplify diagnostics. For example, more than 100 million people worldwide are already using applications developed by Apple to control and monitor their mental and physical health. Apple has also recently announced that it will directly integrate with six electronic health record vendors to its applications — Allscripts, athenahealth, Cerner, CPSI, DrChrono and Meditech Expanse.

ECG performed at National Heart Hospital. London, 1916

Until recently, the most popular method of long-term medical monitoring outside hospitals was the Holter ECG method, first used by biophysicist Norman Holter back in 1952. But since, medical record storage technologies have changed dramatically as cables and monitors with internal memory cards are now attached directly to the patients and the data is transferred to a centralized computer. Essentially, each hospital currently applies personal medical monitors to keep tabs on patients and compile their data. But that data flow is halted at the moment the patient leaves the hospital.

From first pulse oximeter to FitBit Classic and Apple Watch with EKG reader

The Apple watch is a good example of a portable personal medical status monitoring system for such vital lifesigns as blood oxygenation and blood glucose levels. And though the device is very useful for early diagnosis and health monitoring, the future is certain to hold many more wonders in the field of medicine. If a simple watch can remotely conduct the kinds of medical research that people usually stand hours in lines at hospitals to get, there is little doubt that the application of more modern technologies in data storage and analysis with the use of Artificial Intelligence will be able to do away with queues altogether if extended to a global level.

The advent of such infrastructural technologies as blockchain and the inherent characteristics of data storage and processing that they present can act as the foundation of a new leap in shaping the medical industry. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a slew of shortcomings and the general inefficiency of the medical systems applied in the vast majority of countries around the world. Apart from the lack of a streamlined patient processing system and the unavailability of medical supplies, numerous unnecessary deaths from complications have been observed that could have been avoided if not for the absence of compiled and comprehensive patient medical records.

The availability of complete and transparent information on patient health is the most important underlying basis for the efficiency of medical treatment. But with patients sharing their personal data under dubious consent with IT giants instead of transferring it to anonymized data banks, it becomes impossible to simplify or automate diagnostics, and patients end up paying the price without having received any value for the sensitive personal data they had shared.

How hospital registry office looked like in 18th century, 2000s and nowadays

The need for a comprehensive, all-in-one and secure patient data compilation and analysis application is becoming apparent. The DeHealth project has risen to answer such a need with the development of an application that could provide the necessary framework for the creation of such a data-sharing system.

DeHealth is not engaged in diagnostics, unlike some other applications. Instead, the application relies on the use of an API to connect medical laboratories and medical gadgets to a combined digital medical record registry based on decentralized blockchain technologies, ensuring the security, anonymity, and availability of medical data. The storage repository compiles patient data and registers it directly to their personal medical record. As such, the patient will always have access to their entire medical history and will be able to dispose of it as they see fit for their own benefit.

At present, the DeHealth project is working on a proprietary medical application that will be able to conduct comprehensive monitoring of human health. Once connected with the decentralized DeHealth mainframe and combined with an Artificial Intelligence construct, the system will not only be able to record patient health parameters, but will also assist doctors in establishing preliminary diagnoses based on analysis of the compiled data.

Knowledge is power, and in medicine — it is the power to save lives. That is why the availability of medical data without infringement of personal privacy is the key to diagnosing patients properly and bolstering the efficacy of state healthcare systems as a whole.

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