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Healthcare 2030: disease-free life with home monitoring, nanomedicine

By Dick Pelletier

      

    What kind of healthcare might we expect in 20 years? Will we still suffer from today's debilitating diseases; or will future technologies come to the rescue?

    Current biotech research holds great promise to correct many human flaws including vulnerability to disease and telltale signs of aging. Using stem cells and genetic engineering techniques, scientists are learning to regrow damaged organs, tissues, muscles, and bones to regenerate damaged bodies.

    And with new home monitoring systems along with less expensive, but more efficient medical equipment, both predicted for the next two decades, researchers believe that by 2030, killer diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease, and other ailments will become easy-to-manage sicknesses.

    Home Monitoring during the 2010s and 2020s, experts predict that new health monitoring systems, designed to keep patients out of the hospital and get them more involved in managing their own health, will revolutionize medical care.

    Typical homes will include 'smart' toilets that test urine and stool, bathroom sinks that analyze breath and saliva, and transmission systems that automatically forward this data, along with blood samples, heart rate, pulse, and other biometric information over the Internet to healthcare providers.

    By 2020, most doctor visits will not require a personal appearance. Consultation will take place via smart phones, rarely requiring physical face-to-face visits to a physician's office. Doctors will text recommendations for diet, physical activities, and other healthcare advice directly to patients.

    Lower-Cost Medical Components leading medical equipment manufacturer, GE, recently committed $3 billion to create new products that will improve healthcare efficiency and slash costs.

    Their first items include a $1,000 handheld electrocardiogram and a $15,000 portable ultrasound machine. These devices have improved emergency care at accident sites, and are already saving lives.

    Nanomedicine Smaller than blood cells, these tiny intelligent machines cruise through veins, destroy pathogens, locate damaged cells and make instant repairs. In a recent blog, Institute for Molecular Manufacturing's Senior Research Fellow, Robert Freitas describes how this science works and predicts when treatments might become available.

    In a typical nanomedicine therapy to stop infection, patients swallow a pill with 100 billion nanobots inside that search the body for unwanted bacteria, viruses, or fungi and immediately render them harmless.

    When finished, an ultrasound instructs the 'bots to exit the body through urine. The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes and leaves the patient healthy and infection-free.

    In addition, these clever machines can replace faulty chromosomes in diseased cells with new ones. Armed with knowledge of the patient's genome, nanobots find cells with DNA mistakes and create perfect error-free cells to replace them. This keeps patients in perfect health 24/7.

    Possibly one of the more important applications for nanobots includes removing accumulated cellular damage and mutations that cause aging. This procedure will enable many of todays 'boomers and seniors to recapture their youthful health, strength, and beauty. The young will remain young; the old will become young.

    Nanomedicine promises to change forever how we treat sickness and disease. When might this futuristic science become available? Freitas believes that nanobots could appear in clinical trials by mid-2020s and will be saving lives everywhere by 2030.

    Healthcare 2030 promises a disease-free "magical future" for everyone to enjoy.

This article appeared in various print publications and on-line blogs. Comments always welcome.

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