This exercise was assigned by a Professor who wished that we reflect on our future expectations in the health care sector and how technology will participate in the field.
Dear children of the future,
By this time you might be wondering how the health care system was at my time, where we still would go to the doctor for a fever or discomfort. Technology and medicine were distant friends, not like today, where you meet the doctor on a television screen. In my time, we were able to shake the doctor’s hand and be able to talk to him about other matters other than one’s health. Today, a doctor is merely an image on a screen and who explains diagnostic results and handing prescriptions. Pharmacies once existed; we did not have medicine dispense machines and bar codes for each prescription. At my time, we spoke to the pharmacist, exchanged smiles, and all tried to decipher the doctor’s handwriting.
We did not have a chip under our dermis, constantly recording vital signs. Such things were only seen in the United States in American football players, who would swallow a pill that would control temperatures. Biomedicine and biotechnology were merely new ideas being put into practice, tissue banks and artificial organs were dreams. Hospitals had more personnel, nurses, doctors walking around the halls. Today’s hospitals contain you in a room, minimizing any human-to-human contact to avoid secondary infection.
Patients were not that well informed. With the growth of internet use, patients have the power to educate themselves on their diagnosis and/or symptoms. The doctors effectively used their time by sending each patient a video of their diagnostic and treatments, explaining to them what are the causes and procedures to better their health. Those with chronic illness do still follow the Kaiser-Permanent treatment but technology has had more participation in patient-doctor communication, making the use of a computer indispensable.
We did not know the genetic code of our offspring and were not able to purchase our genetic map since it was too high of a price. Currently genetic mapping is so common that it has even affected the way in which doctors treat patients, being able to prevent the onset of autoimmune disease and control the intensity of its expression.
This is just an image of how the health care system was available at my time. Many changes have been made; the most evident has been in the patient-doctor contact that has been limited to images via internet. Hospital staff has decreased and evidence-based medicine has been the base to all medical practices.
These alterations have increased the life expectancy of the population, which was not as high as today’s, and explains the increase in chronic illness and medicated population. This has brought a terrible burden on the demographics of many countries, which explains why today there are so many young individuals in the community.
The situation of today was a result of the past where technology was blossoming and information was free.