by Vivek Wadhwa
There is nothing like a near-death experience to make you acutely aware of how much we rely on medicine and the healthcare system. I suffered a massive heart attack in March 2012 and nearly died. The doctors saved me. Since that terrifying event, I have tracked developments in technology, medicine, and wellness carefully. All along, I wondered why so much health care aimed at saving us after we fell ill rather than at keeping us healthy and spotting the problems well in advance. People in the healthcare sector call such an approach wellness care, or preventive medicine.
The very same exponential technology improvement curves that describe smartphone use and development of drones and autonomous cars also, now, describe the rapid improvements in medical technology.
Collectively, these advances are creating a wholesale change in the way we practice and think about medicine. We are finally moving toward a focus on wellness and preventive measures. But now we can personalize analysis and treatments as never before. We will as consumers have unprecedented insights into and power to control our own health care. And augmenting our bodies and our minds will be possible by a plethora of biological and mechanical means unimaginable just a decade ago— if we choose to make such augmentations available.