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The Future of Medicine

From Maintenance to Prevention to Wellness

Preventative DNA Check Ups & Health App's

The Future of Medicine

Issue 2 - Preventative DNA Check Ups - will GPs become obsolete?

... or .. can Computer Diagnostics replace Medical Practitioners?

Article by: Dieter L. Editor of useNature


Preventative DNA Check Ups & Health App's

Health App's hardly can be called Future of Medicine anymore ... it nearly has become the norm. What is new, or what will become the future, is the shrinking size and cost of the diagnostic equipments, including how to get your DNA tested.

The future is all on your mobile device. Already we have thousands of little clever Health Smart Phone App's, and other mini devices like fit bits, or Hapifork.

Medical diagnostics at your fingertips .. literally. Already it seems there is an app for everything, from measuring your pulse while you sleep to memory training.

It will be just a matter of time, before these app's become serious, and can be used as medical approved diagnostic appliances.

Think about it; with everything getting smaller, and computer power fitting into mobile devices, the next step may as well be full monitoring and personal health data collection. Add a few additional tests, like DNA testing for diseases, or one of my favourite, DNA testing for what diet an individual person according to their DNA should eat. This would include a list of foods not to eat, because of allergies or hypersensitivity, and a whole list of foods with recipes, what you should eat to make and keep you healthy.

Does that sound far fetched? Not really, because most of those tests are already available, it is just a matter of time before they become main stream and work on your mobile devices.

Obviously, there will be many advantages, but also some disadvantages, esp. security issues, such as privacy. Interestingly, the security issues may be a bigger challenge than the developing of diagnostic app's.

If however, security can be assured, than all our personal health data could be stored in the cloud, and access could be allowed by code, finger print or similar, to be used on "demand" when visiting a Doctor or Hospital or some kind of Medical Facility of the future. Just imagine the money which would be saved.

No need to fill out endless forms, all data is constantly updated automatically by your wristband, with a build in "prick and go", blood testing device, and other important data selection such as, pulse, blood pressure, blood sugar, temperature, fitness, and a comprehensive DNA Preventative Check Up, all stored, and to be accessed when needed.

Will you still have to go to your friendly medical general practitioner?

This will become questionable, GP's may have to be re-trained in holistic medicine, in order to access and re-direct the patient in a much more efficient way.

General Physical GP check-ups may become obsolete, because you simply go to your "Online Medical Centre", and request an "online check-up", where you will have direct access to a computer diagnostic trained nurse.

Why a Nurse and not a Doctor?
Obviously the nurse will be much cheaper, and as we all know, the medical system is breaking down under it's financial strain. Nurses become your first line of contact into the health system, you will meet the Online Triage nurse, who will further assess your data and up-dated condition, obviously knowing your history and all your vital signs from your mobile data collection device.

As one can see, a "normal" GP, medical Doctor as this stage will have become obsolete.

Only if the data collected by your mobile devices, including your online cloud data, and questions answered, will show an adverse medical situation, will you be able to see a real Doctor within a real brick and mortar health Centre or Hospital.

That Doctor of course will be much more holistic than any Doctor in the past. In the future, no Doctor will concentrate on treating a disease, instead the whole patient will be considered, and causative factors will be important to actually cure a patient, rather then prescribe maintenance medical drugs for a disease.

If we venture even further into the future and consider, 3 D printing, there is the possibility that therapeutic devices will be printed specifically for an individual.

What can we expect from DNA testing?

In the future, which has already started, testing will become even cheaper, affordable for all and everything, even so, many tests still will need to be devised.

Testing for faulty genes, will not mean you wait till you get actually sick, it will definitely mean, advice and possible treatment to achieve the best possible outcome. With other words, DNA testing can become a preventative tool. It is different from any other test, which only shows what issue you have or don't have.

With ordinary tests, getting the all clear, is not helping you to decide how you actually can improve your health.

With future Preventative DNA Testing, we have a real paradigm shift.

Knowing your strength and weaknesses, we are for the first time actively able to change our health destiny.

Future Health Systems will be much more accommodating towards Holistic Health - Prevention and Wellbeing, because it is the only way to keep people healthy.

The time has past, where the medical system has to wait for a disease to manifest before it can advice a patient of a suitable treatment.

The next generation of diagnostic App's

What is in development or here already ...

  • Tiny DNA sequencing devices [*1-2] that are the size of a mobile phone are developed, and may cost only about $1000.
    Just remember, the first DNA sequencing of the human genome, in 2003 - price tag, over $2 billion.

  • New "nanopore" sequencing devices, [*3] which are designed to be even smaller and more affordable, could speed efforts to make gene sequencing a routine part of a visit to the doctor's office. - The goal is to speed up sequencing; results in a few hours, at a cost of less than $100.

  • iPhone add-on that lets doctors take an electrocardiogram, a case that snaps onto the iPhone, with electrodes on the back. It reads heart rhythms. A $99 version should be available soon that will let patients capture their own heart data, documenting sometimes-fleeting arrhythmia when they feel symptoms or tracking the success of lifestyle changes at curbing heart troubles. [*4]

  • Bio Sensors, like developed for the army (heat sensing missiles), will bring further medical tests to your own home. Smart phones are well suited for housing bio sensors and extra cameras, and tests are already developed to smell out allergy causing substances in food, and warn the allergy sufferer, and sniffing out infectious diseases, and many other tests will revolutionise medical diagnosis and our whole health system.

  • General Lifestyle and Health App's have invaded our mobiles already, have a look at HAPIfork .. . and no, I don't sell it .. I just show it as an example of what is and will be available. The complicated decision will be, which app to select for optimal health, but I am sure there will be an App soon, to help you to select the best possible health app for your health issue.

  • Wireless Blood Pressure Monitors are available already, and once again date stored on your phone ... it just goes on and on ..

Spend some time searching on the Internet, and you will find all you may need, and than top it up with some magic DNA testing.

DNA testing certainly is NOT the exclusive domain of doctors anymore, it is now a do-it-yourself process. Already, you can buy a test online, collect a DNA testing sample, and mail it to a testing company. In return, you'll receive personalized medical information that purportedly allows you to combat genetic diseases by making informed choices about your health.

New research demonstrates, that you can turn off faulty disease promoting genes by improving your diet, stress and lifestyle.

As we discussed above, the next step is just around the corner .... your own DNA Testing device, some health app's and a bio sensor, all take samples of your health status.

Feed it all into your computer and get a print out with lifestyle advice...

... if this is not a paradigm shift for our Health, I don't know what is .......

Next article: The Future of Naturopathy? - How to improve our overburdened Health Care System?

Article by: Dieter L. Editor of useNature

 

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for general use and for personal interest only. It should not be used or understood as suggestion or medical advice.

References:

  1. DNA Sequencing with MinION: what does it offer?
  2. Metrichor - Real time analysis solutions, integrated with nanopore sensing devices and designed to help people track, trend and predict biological data.
  3. Nanopore-based Fourth-generation DNA Sequencing Technology
  4. Last month, the FDA cleared a new iPhone add-on that lets doctors take an electrocardiogram just about anywhere.

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