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Future of Medicine – Part 2

What if we did not become aware that a patient has Alzheimer’s 20 years after the condition first starts, what if we could alert the patient they are on the path to cardiac failure 20 years before diagnosis, at the actual time of physical ailment first begins? 

“We as a society are limited not by what we can do but what we think we can do” – Vinod Khosla

Already with the covid-19 pandemic, we have seen the healthcare system become more dynamic and flexible than was thought possible a year ago. Non-emergency medical consultation is now mainly executed as telehealth, the design, execution and testing of vaccines has decreased by 10 fold. 

However, there is still massive scope for improvement. 

For one, integrative healthcare is not readily available today. The cardiologist may provide expert advice and treatment plan for the heart, but does not consult with a patients’ endocrinologist. A conversation could have perhaps directed the patient towards a more sustainable, and holistic health approach, one where we do not treat the random symptoms that appear as separate throughout the body but rather see how they interlink and what the underlying cause may be for all the ailments. 

So if this is the obvious choice for improved patient care, why then is there a void for holistic care in medicine?

  • Lack of interest in learning about other specialisaties
  • Profitable revenue models of specialists

So we need doctors encouraged to interact with other specialists for a single patient, not just refer them on with just medical notes. And we need entrepreneurs to systematically transform 80% of the more mundane health responsibilities of a doctor into a much more affordable model, and this is likely to be achieved through leveraging artificial intelligence. Through the use of technologies such as AI, improved business models, and increased remote capabilities, we can cut the unnecessary costs out of healthcare and serve the patients cheaper, faster, more accurately, more timely and holistically. This may be initially difficult to implement as it is disruptive to the current revenue models and traditional way of doing things in health, however, if you take the long-term perspective, it will be more rewarding for both the patients and the business sector of healthcare. Furthermore, this improved patient care will indirectly serve the economy as more working individuals will be of better health, physically and mentally to continue iterating improvements to the reality that surrounds us today.