Suggested Reading: The Wearable, Implantable, Personalized Future of Medicine


Medical science will, in the coming decades, increase human life expectancy considerably. There are already ongoing discussions about how humans will cope with immortality. A big part of that will be, what has been dubbed, P4 medicine (predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory). It will be specifically catered to your DNA and will watch for warning signs, sort of like the 'check engine' light in your car.

Today, Scientific American has posted a lengthy article about P4 medicine, how it will work and how far away it is:
"What biologist Leroy Hood has called P4 medicine--predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory--is tantalizingly near. The building blocks of that future are a deeper understanding of biological processes andcontinued advances in mobile sensors and big data analytics. Let's imagine the future, one where you really are special.

Your physician will compare your current health to the best possible baseline. That would be you, but you in the best physical and mental condition of your life. Perhaps you were 25, at your optimum weight, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and eating a well-balanced diet (those vegetables again). Your physician would then tailor your treatment based on a detailed understanding of your genetic profile and gene expression, your current lifestyle and environment, and your body's specific reactions to the prescribed treatment.


In a few years, sequencing and metabolic analysis will be a routine diagnostic test costing just few hundred dollars. This will be great news if you are sick. The real trick is keeping you healthy, despite your penchant for bacon cheeseburgers, eliminating the need for many treatments by predicting disease and intervening to prevent it. The key is detecting subtle changes in gene expression and metabolism before they become manifest as illness. Your biochemistry tells the tale before you feel sick."

Read the full article at Scientific American.
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